Plant & Works Engineering
Manufacturers urge Government to secure strong deal with EU
Published:  02 July, 2020

An alliance of the trade associations, entrepreneur’s and small businesses representing over 20,000 people across the UK are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to avoid no deal or a bad deal in negotiations with the EU, and instead focus on securing the best possible trading arrangements to fight the pandemic and secure the economic recovery.

The Chemicals Business Association, Manufacturing Technology Association, and 100’s of entrepreneurs and small to medium sized firms have written directly to the PM to urge much closer collaboration with the EU.

Today marks the point of no return for needing to agree an EU trade deal and prepare the country for that deal by the end of this year. The business alliance warns that the PM has taken a huge gamble with the coronavirus pandemic having created an enormous economic shock across the UK and around the world.

Highlighting the Government’s own analysis suggesting that the downside of a no-deal exit, compared to continuing with current arrangements, would be approximately 8% of GDP in 15 years time, businesses are calling for a reset in the tone and transparency of the negotiations in the remaining six months.

The letter calls for the PM to ensure that the UK achieves the best possible trading arrangements with the EU and other countries. Specifically, it calls for these trading arrangements to uphold the common high standards currently applicable on both sides in the areas of state aid, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and tax.

Critically the businesses, most of whom are on the front line of trading with the EU, call for continued alignment with EU regulatory bodies that allow free flow of products in such areas as pharmaceutical, medical, and chemical supplies to keep non-tariff barriers to a minimum. They are also calling for assurance of an equivalence agreement with the EU for financial services that is broader than the traditional arrangements and provides greater certainty.

Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens UK commented "This call for needing a close relationship and deal with the EU comes at a critical moment of a transition extension being ruled out and business focused on recovering from Covid. This is not a call to reopen old divisions about remaining or leaving. What we now need is a common sense approach to our relationship with the EU. The Government must now deliver for us all, and on their promise to get a good deal, not a bad deal and definitely not a no deal”

Peter Newport, CEO of the Chemical Business Association said ''A smooth flow of chemical industry products is critical for the economy to recover post Covid. They are the foundation of most industries. A good EU trade deal with close alignment on chemical regulation and standards is the only way to avoid chemical supply chain disruption and have a negative impact on our economy"

James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technology Association added ''Manufacturers are by definition the innovators and traders of our economy. Supply chains are very integrated across the EU, thanks to the free movement of products facilitated by the single market over four decades. Any disruption caused due to non-tariff barriers caused by a bad EU trade deal will disrupt our businesses significantly at a time when we can least afford this"