The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) has called on the Government to secure an interim agreement with the European Union (EU) to safeguard the future of the UK motor industry until a final agreement on Brexit is reached.
Formal talks over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU began in Brussels yesterday, and are expected to take up to two years to complete.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the UK automotive industry accepted that Britain would be leaving the EU, but raised doubts as to whether a final deal on a future relationship could be finalised and implemented by March 2019.
Hawes called Brexit "the greatest challenge the industry has faced in a generation", and said it was vital an interim agreement be secured by the British government to safeguard the country's motor industry.
"Any Brexit agreement will be hugely complex," said Hawes. "We [the UK] must negotiate with 28 countries, each with their own vested interests, making a March 2019 completion date to negotiations - as indicated by the triggering of Article 50 - feel somewhat ambitious.