Manufacturers in Britain and in the bloc have called on the UK government and European Commission (EC) to avoid a no-deal scenario.
The bosses of major manufacturing businesses have called on both parties to return to the negotiating table. They say that the seamless operation of supply chains and just-in-time logistics is “essential” to the recovery of COVID-19.
Moreover, they say that a no-deal scenario with the EU – the UK’s “most critical” trading partner – would be “disastrous for manufacturing” and the millions more employed in supporting industries both here in the UK and across the EU.
In an open letter to the UK government and EC, the signatory manufacturers say: “The impacts would go far beyond disruptions in trade at the border. Families and communities would be left hanging in the balance, affecting real people who need the well-paid jobs that manufacturing provides alongside its contribution of almost half of Britain’s global exports.
“Manufacturing and engineering companies employ 2.7million in every constituency up and down the UK and many millions more across the whole of Europe. Their products power our loves – the cars we drive, the technology behind our schools and hospitals, even the meals we consume.
“Britain is a leading exporter of innovation, product and technical skills which are playing a critical part in boosting efforts to lead our economic recovery and the same can be said for many of the great manufacturing nations across Europe.
“The COVID crisis has had an incredibly damaging impact across the UK and Europe. As a consequence it has been impossible to fully prepare for the changes that are coming in January.
“Should we face the challenge of an acrimonious exit without a deal, businesses in the UK and Europe are united in the view that they are not and cannot be ready for the disruption that we face.”
Therefore, manufacturers are call on both the UK and EU to avoid a no-deal scenario and work to ensure that “we achieve the best deal possible avoiding tariffs, simplifying rules of origin and minimising red tape and bureaucracy at the border”.