Brexit and the Motor Industry


All the evidence suggests that the terms on which Britain leaves the EU will be of key importance to jobs and living standards of people in the UK for many years to come. The stakes are particularly high for the automotive industry which is an industry on which hundreds of thousands of jobs up and down the country depend on. It is also an industry that brings in £77.5 billion every year in revenue and which makes up almost 10% of manufacturing output.

In Parliament this month I set out why it is so important that we get the approach to Brexit right in order to maintain the health of the UK automotive sector. It is one of the sectors of British industry most closely integrated with the EU and the emergence of any barriers to frictionless trade or additional bureaucracy after Brexit risk seriously damaging the industry.

The automotive sector is another example of where the Government’s plans for our future relationship with the EU just really will not cut it. I regularly meet with representatives from the automotive sector, and in the past month I have met with Jaguar Land Rover and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the warnings the industry have made about the damage of a bad Brexit deal are serious. Even at this last stage, I am urging the Government to listen to the voices of industry. This is about the livelihoods of people in the West Midlands and in other parts of the UK.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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