Manufacturers call for Brexit transitional deal before 2018

Major European manufacturing organisation, Ceemet, has called for a ‘reasonable Brexit deal in a reasonable time’. Manufacturers also called for the freedom of movement to be protected.

European manufacturing
The Brussels-based organisation representing manufacturers across Europe warned that unless a “meaningful” transitional Brexit trade deal could be agreed by the end of the year, the sector’s supply chains across the continent would suffer.

Brexit negotiations key to forward movement of manufacturing

In a report published on the day Prime Minister Theresa May headed for Brussels in a bid to break the deadlock over Brexit talks, the Ceemet organisation – which represents 200,000 companies employing 35 million Europeans – said a transitional deal must enable people to continue to move freely across borders to support supply chains and address the sector’s skills shortage.The report said that Brexit negotiations must deliver a “reasonable deal in a reasonable time” to protect the growth provided by Europe’s factories. Freedom of movement should continue along with a single regulatory environment, supported by mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation.“Companies across the continent want to see swift progress on transitional arrangements to avoid unintended consequences and economic collateral damage arising from a failure to agree an orderly exit,” said Uwe Combuchen, director-general of Ceemet.“EU and UK negotiators have a responsibility to ensure minimal disruption for businesses, for employers and employees and avoid a lose lose situation for manufacturers.”Terry Scuoler, chief executive officer of UK manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which is a Ceemet member, said, “As manufacturers we will continue to press hard for a smooth and orderly Brexit. A transitional period of at least two years remains a must for the sector.“European businesses are making it clear that they too want a clear transition period delivered as soon as possible.“The logjam in negotiations could damage industry unless there is a breakthrough on a transition deal.“Clarity over this transition is essential to business both in the UK and the EU so we can continue to deliver prosperity and investment in jobs alongside economic growth. We need this clarity by the end of the year.”

Criticism of a Brexit no deal

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, backed the calls for clarity over Brexit transition. “Manufacturers and industry across the EU need guarantees, but the government is increasingly heading for a no deal Brexit that will badly damage us for decades,” he said.“A transition is at least better than no deal, but it must be a transition to a deal that effectively keeps the UK within the Single Market and customs union.”The manufacturers’ calls echo those from the financial services industry, most recently by the lobby group TheCityUK, which called on Mrs May last month to provide “urgent clarity on transitional arrangements”.
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After talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Sunday, Mrs May flew to Brussels on Monday for dinner with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in a bid to end the current deadlock in the Brexit talks.The EU is refusing to discuss future trade arrangements until agreement is reached on the UK’s “divorce” payment to the bloc, the future rights of European expats in Britain, and the future of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Ulster.Mrs May, accompanied by Brexit Secretary David Davis, hopes her talks with the two senior Eurocrats will resolve the stalemate ahead of the Thursday’s summit of EU leaders.For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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