John Leech, Head of Automotive at KPMG in the UK, has highlighted concerns relating to what would happen to the UK automotive market in the event of Brexit. With SMMT data suggesting that more than nine out of ten automotive market members are in favour of remaining, his views add detail to that consensus perspective. He said:
“Our report with the SMMT shows just how important the EU is to the UK automotive market – the UK automotive sector would likely lose sales, face slower supply chains and higher costs in the event of a Brexit. Given the low levels of profitability that accrue to mass market vehicle manufacture this would likely, over time, to lead to the loss of jobs overall. Even for the UK’s successful premium car manufacturers the loss of influence over EU regulation would come to damage their businesses over time.
“The automotive businesses we spoke to believe that the EU as an important bargaining force in global trade negotiations. Moreover, research and development, which is vital to the UK’s ability to be at the forefront of innovation in car manufacturing, is both heavily funded by the EU and requires access to the expertise and free movement of skilled engineers within the EU.”
JCB backs Brexit
Meanwhile, JCB chairman Lord Bamford wrote to his firm’s 6500 UK employees on 9 June explaining why he was the country to leave the European Union.
He said he was “very confident that we can stand on our own two feet”, adding that more than 53 per cent of all UK exports go to non-EU nations.
Furthermore, Lord Bamford told employees that the referendum’s outcome “will determine the future of our country” and that it will make a “lasting impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren”.
What both sides appear to agree on is that there is real demand from businesses on both sides of the divide to see Europe cut red tape.
The referendum vote is being held in a few day’s time on 23 June.