The prospect of a 10 per cent tariff on UK car exports to the EU is unnerving for the automotive industry. However, developments since the EU referendum are reason to remain positive.
Both Nissan and now Toyota have announced major investments in the UK, and car production is at a 17 year high. Post-Brexit, investors will continue to be attracted to the UK car industry’s highly productive workforce, which is one of the world’s most competitive.
There is also an understanding that some sort of mutual trade agreement on cars is likely to emerge from the upcoming EU negotiations. The recently signed CETA trade deal between Canada and the EU shows that tariff-free automotive trade is perfectly possible without EU membership. And, of course, there is little appetite for UK-EU car tariffs from Europe’s economic powerhouse Germany, which exported 810,000 cars to the UK last year, amounting to nearly 15 per cent of its total production.