10 April 2019

“Avoid no deal catastrophe” say Ceemet and Make UK

Industry groups representing companies across Europe are pressing the EU 27 leaders to work with the UK Government to avoid a catastrophic no deal Brexit and the economic damage it would bring to British companies as well as businesses and workers throughout the EU.

In a joint letter sent today to each of the EU 27 Permanent Representatives and Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, Ceemet and Make UK warn of the risk of economic shocks if negotiators fail to agree a deal that works for business in both the European Union and the UK.

Ceemet and its national members, Make UK’s sister organisations in Europe, representing over 200,000 manufacturers large and small across the continent, stressed that lack of coherent preparation from the UK and the EU has left Europe’s manufacturers woefully unprepared for a cliff edge scenario.

For the last 40 years the levels of integration in complex supply chains would mean simply returning to World Trade Organisation terms would be extremely damaging as they rely on smooth transit across borders between all EU countries and the UK.

Many European manufacturers’ products, including medical equipment and other essential components, are tested at present in UK specialist testing centres. Knowledge and data transfer, which is integral to business, currently automatically passes across the Channel and professional qualifications are mutually recognised.

All this would come to an end in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Ahead of releasing the powerful statement today (Wednesday), Ceemet Director General Uwe Combüchen said: “EU and UK Governments have a responsibility to ensure minimal disruption for businesses, for employers and employees. That is why companies across Europe want to see no deal taken off the table and politicians on both sides to facilitate a deal which all sides can agree to.”

The unintended consequences and economic collateral damage arising from a failure to agree an orderly exit do not bear thinking about.”

Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK added: “It is unthinkable that we are just two days away from the deadline where the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal in place. How our Government could have let this happen is beyond belief.

For the last two years manufacturers have called for clarity. A no deal will decimate manufacturing in both the EU and the UK. There will be no winners unless a deal is found. If that proves impossible then we have already made clear we think the Government must act decisively to pause the process and revoke Article 50 so we can reflect on the best solution.”