UK car output rises in June but industry warns on Brexit deal
LONDON – British car production rose 10 percent year-on-year in June, according to figures released on Thursday, but manufacturers said growth was in jeopardy if Britain failed to secure unfettered access to the European single market.
Britain’s overwhelmingly foreign-owned carmakers backed remaining part of the European Union ahead of last month’s referendum vote to leave the bloc, where over half of British car exports are sold.
Although production rose 10.4 percent to 158,641 units last month, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said this growth was due to investments made several years ago and future increases could be put at risk by Brexit.
“These decisions were based on many factors but, primarily, on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce,” Mike Hawes said.
“To ensure the sector’s continued growth, and with it the thousands of jobs it supports, these must be priorities in future negotiations.”
The SMMT, which surveyed its members between July 7 and 22, said nearly 70 percent were concerned about possible barriers to trade with the European Union in any Brexit deal.
Sixty percent of the 289 SMMT respondents said a lack of certainty over the future status of skilled EU workers in Britain was a concern. -Reuters