CBI chief: ‘Car firms face Brexit ex­tinc­tion’

Iran Daily - - Tse & Global Economy -

Sec­tions of the UK car in­dus­try face ex­tinc­tion un­less the UK stays in the EU cus­toms union, the pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish In­dus­try (CBI) has said.

Paul Dreschler also said there was ‘zero ev­i­dence’ that trade deals out­side the EU will pro­vide any eco­nomic ben­e­fit to Bri­tain, ac­cord­ing to BBC.

But the gov­ern­ment said it was “fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK”.

Brexit cam­paign­ers said the CBI was “the voice of vested in­ter­ests”.

Car woes

“If we do not have a cus­toms union, there are sec­tors of manufacturing so­ci­ety in the UK which risk be­com­ing ex­tinct,” Dreschler said.

“Be in no doubt, that is the re­al­ity.”

He told BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gram the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in par­tic­u­lar would suf­fer un­less we get ‘real fric­tion­less trade’.

Dreschler, who is due to step down from his role next week, said greater costs caused by the im­po­si­tion of trade tar­iffs and de­lays at the bor­der will not only af­fect in­di­vid­ual com­pa­nies, but the en­tire sup­ply chain.

He added that the UK would be much bet­ter us­ing the scale of the EU to ne­go­ti­ate trade agree­ments than go­ing it alone.

“There’s zero ev­i­dence that in­de­pen­dent trade deals will pro­vide any eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the UK that’s ma­te­rial. It’s a myth,” he said.

‘Lack of clar­ity’

De­lays to busi­ness in­vest­ment were also af­fect­ing the UK econ­omy, he said.

“We al­ready know tens of mil­lions, in fact hun­dreds of mil­lions have been in­vested by UK phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and fi­nance com­pa­nies to cre­ate con­ti­nu­ity post a worse­case Brexit sce­nario. Tens of mil­lions. What could we have done with that money?” Dreschler said.

The gov­ern­ment has not given busi­ness the nec­es­sary clar­ity to make in­vest­ment de­ci­sions, he said.

“We have a ne­go­ti­a­tion within the UK gov­ern­ment that’s gone on for nearly three years.

“We still haven’t got clar­ity about the fu­ture direc­tion, about where we’re heading, what will be the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with Europe, at a level of de­tail that mat­ters for in­vest­ment.”

How­ever, a spokesper­son for the Depart­ment for Ex­it­ing the EU (Dexeu) said the gov­ern­ment was “fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK — in­clud­ing busi­nesses across the econ­omy”.

“We have laid out our ap­proach to our with­drawal and fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the EU in 14 de­tailed pa­pers we pub­lished last sum­mer, nu­mer­ous speeches given by the prime min­is­ter and cabi­net min­is­ters, and the tech­ni­cal notes and slides we pub­lished in re­cent weeks.

“We’ll soon pub­lish a White Pa­per with de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions of our am­bi­tion for a fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the EU — build­ing on the po­si­tions set out by the prime min­is­ter,” the spokesper­son added.

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