SMMT to Parliament: Use Brexit extension purposefully

Like a schoolgirl who left an important project to the last minute and then begged teacher for more time, Teresa May has returned from Brussels with a further extension to Brexit. Now we might need to wait until 31 October to discover how the future relationship between the UK and EU will look. The head of the body representing the UK automotive industry considers this waiting and further waiting untenable.

“While we’ve avoided a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Friday, it is utterly unacceptable that, more than two years since negotiations started, industry still does not know what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be in the coming weeks and months,” states Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). “Uncertainty has already caused serious damage – car plants are on enforced shutdown, investment has been cut and jobs lost. This cannot go on.

“Government and Parliament must use this extension purposefully to take ‘no deal’ off the table for good, and guarantee a positive long-term resolution that delivers frictionless trade,” Hawes continues. “If they fail, we face yet another devastating ‘no deal’ precipice on 31 October.”

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