UK car industry says full EU deal not possible over two years

UK car industry government must secure interim EU deal

Hawes said it was vital an interim agreement be secured by the United Kingdom government to safeguard the United Kingdom motor industry.

Britain's vehicle industry does not believe the United Kingdom will be able to strike a full and comprehensive Brexit deal with the European Union during the course of two-year talks and must secure interim arrangements to help safeguard the sector.

It warned that unless this happens, businesses could be forced to trade under harsher World Trade Organisation rules until a new agreement is reached. "If the United Kingdom can not secure - and implement - a bespoke and comprehensive new relationship with the European Union in two years" time, we need a back-up plan.

Britain's auto industry set out a list of Brexit demands to Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Tuesday, warning that a return to World Trade Organisation rules could permanently damage the successful sector.

"To leave in 2019 without a deal would put the industry in peril, defaulting to WTO tariffs and customs barriers would damage our industry permanently", he said, referring to the two-year talks which are under way between London and Brussels.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that United Kingdom automotive industry accepted Britain would be leaving the European Union, but raised doubts whether a final deal on a future relationship could be finalised and implemented by March 2019.

Although Hawes did not expect any immediate closure of major plants, he said the risk was "death by a thousand cuts" as uncertainty led to diminishing investment and the dwindling of the supply chain in the UK. According to previous estimates by the SMMT, this could add £1,500 to the price of imported cars.

While the council said the figures marked a significant move in the right direction, the proportion could still be problematic for some export agreements.

It warned the industry would suffer without a back-up plan in place.

Hawes added: "We accept that we are leaving the European Union".

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