No deal Brexit is not an option, Britain’s car industry warns

A no-deal Brexit is not an option for Britain’s car industry, given the costs and disruption that carmakers and consumers would suffer, the head of the country’s automobile industry group said on Tuesday.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said carmakers were “increasingly concerned” about the lack of clarity around the manner of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

With less than eight months until the divorce is due to take place, Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to find a proposal to maintain economic ties with the bloc that pleases both sides of her divided party and is acceptable to negotiators in Brussels.

That has raised the prospect of Britain leaving the EU with no deal and falling back on World Trade Organisation rules that could leave British car exporters facing EU import tariffs of around 10 percent.

“No deal… is just not an option. It would be seriously damaging to the industry not just in the UK but in Europe as well,” Hawes told reporters as he presented SMMT’s mid-year update on British car production.

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