18 Apr 2024

It’s over: PM tells UK to prepare for No Deal

The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit on 1 January 2021, which would have an impact on car parts imports from Europe, rose significantly today (Friday 16 October), following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on the outcome of trade talks with the EU.

In a televised address, he said: “Since we only have 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1st, I have to make a judgement about the likely outcome and to get us all ready. Given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for the last few months, and given that this summit seems to explicitly rule out a Canada-style deal,  I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1st with arrangements that are more like Australia’s, based on simple principles of global trade.”

There remain a number of areas where agreement between the UK and EU has not yet been found, with the UK chief negotiator Lord David Frost suggesting that the EU had been expecting the UK to give way on all positions. EU leaders had urged for talks to continue beyond `the end of the week – but Boris Johnson appears to be sticking with the the cut-off point he suggested.

The Prime Minister continued: “Now is the time for our businesses to get ready, for our hauliers to get ready and for travellers to get ready.”

He added: “For whatever reason, it is clear from the summit that after 45 years, they are not willing, unless there is some fundamental change in approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada. And so, with high hearts and complete confidence, we will prepare to embrace the alternative, and we will prosper mightily as an independent free-trading nation controlling our own borders, our fisheries, and setting our own laws.”

Commenting on the likely outcome for the UK’s automotive sector, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said, “Make no mistake, the automotive industry will not prosper from ‘no deal’. It would have a devastating impact on the sector, on the economy and on jobs in every region of Britain. Businesses have been battling Coronavirus at the same time as investing heavily in decarbonisation, all while preparing as best they can for a seismic change in trading conditions come year end.”

Mike added: “To avoid permanent damage, we urge both sides to keep talking, to remain calm but work with renewed vigour on a deal that supports automotive, a sector that is the UK’s biggest exporter of goods and one of the UK and Europe’s most valuable economic assets.”