The president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Tony Walker, has asked the UK government not to undermine the country’s automotive industry’s competitiveness due to slow progress on Brexit, during a recent talk.

‘We need to see concrete progress – and quickly,’ he said. ‘[The transition] should be on the current terms and, crucially, not time-limited […] We will never stop striving to be competitive. But we ask government to help provide the conditions in which we can compete. Like every other industry, we need certainty now.

‘As an industry we are strong, resilient, and innovative. Not fearful of the future but keen to grasp the opportunities we are creating together. I am very proud that today our UK automotive industry competes globally on quality, productivity, flexibility and cost. We have delivered an export-led renaissance. But we are not complacent. Competitiveness comes hard-won. It can be easily lost. A hard Brexit would undermine all that we have collectively achieved.’

The SMMT has also released new figures which suggest the risks of a no deal Brexit for the sector. The risk comes from costly WTO tariffs and the imposition of customs checks, red tape and fees on goods that currently move friction free across borders, the SMMT claims. 

This story is reprinted from material from the SMMTwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.