The EURIS Taskforce, a body of trade organisations representing UK manufacturing, wrote to the Prime Minister for the second time to reinforce that no-deal should not be an option in the Brexit debate.
Chair Howard Porter said: “A no-deal Brexit will result in significant long-term damage to the UK manufacturing sector and will put at risk the industrial product supply sector’s £148 billion contribution to the UK economy.
“Of particular concern are the potential costs of regulatory compliance and administration placed on exporters and importers in the UK under a no-deal, which many believe will be too hard to bear for some companies.”
Bottom of the table
A recent EURIS report found that a no-deal scenario would put the UK at the bottom of all global trading leagues under default World Trade Organization rules.
“EURIS is calling on the Prime Minister to support UK industry and secure the future of our contribution to the UK economy by avoiding a no-deal Brexit,” Porter added.
The trade body’s call to rule out a no-deal Brexit comes as 209 MPs from across the parties have signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking for the same thing, organised by former Conservative cabinet minister Dame Caroline Spelman.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 show The Westminster Hour, Spelman said: “Crashing out of the EU without a deal will cause job losses and bring to an end the renaissance seen in manufacturing [in the UK].
“This no to a no-deal letter provides a foundation that we are united on one thing, that we want to protect jobs and livelihoods by making sure that we don’t just crash out without a deal.”
While the signatories did not all necessarily agree with Theresa May’s Brexit deal, they did all agree that a deal needed to be made in some capacity.
“If parliament gives expression to not wanting to crash out without a deal, it means effort has got to be renewed to find a deal and agreement that is acceptable to a majority of parliamentarians,” Spelman added.
“But I think taking a step back and at least agreeing that we’re not going to crash out without a deal means that, on 29th March, we’re not just going to fall over the cliff edge. That’s the difference it makes.”
Meanwhile, food and drink manufacturers are set to benefit from a no-deal Brexit hotline, helping businesses plan for the impact of a no-deal scenario.