UK red lines crash car industry's post-Brexit recovery

Britain's car industry risks losing out even if there is a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU according to a leaked letter.

In a letter to UK car manufacturers, Britain's chief Brexit negotiator David Frost says the UK has failed so far to get the car parts deal it wants, meaning parts from Turkey and Japan used in UK automobile production would not be considered British and would likely face higher taxes.

What did the letter say?

The BBC reports that the letter by Lord Frost, the UK's top negotiator in UK-EU trade talks, says "I am sorry to say that so far they [EU negotiators] have neither been willing to discuss these nor share any proposed text with us". This part refers to UK car manufacturers who want zero tariffs to be applied to car parts that come from other countries like Japan and Turkey to be assembled in Britain. Imposing new customs charges on car parts would mean British-made cars would become more expensive for purchasers overseas, potentially making the UK car industry less profitable.

The BBC also says: "Senior figures in the car industry expressed the view that the government could have chosen to insist on a deal that did contain such measures. But discussions on such subjects have been stalled by the impasse over fishing rights and subsidy powers."

Commenting, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

“The UK Government has spent much of this year trying to fight the EU, rather than fighting for the interests of British businesses.

“In doing so, it has failed to even make the case for a deal that would have aided the automotive sector’s recovery.

“This is another example of the damage caused by failing to agree a comprehensive trade agreement. The UK car industry will be left behind in the slow lane as a result of this negotiating failure.”

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