The Brexit referendum has been one of the biggest events in the modern history of the UK, and as the March 29 deadline draws near, the anxiety is rising in the country as no deal has yet been agreed with the European Union. A ‘no deal’ Brexit has been widely panned as a chaotic solution that will plunge the country into an economic black hole, and in a new development, UK’s biggest manufacturing body Make the UK called it a potentially ‘catastrophic prospect.’
Judith Hackitt, the head of Make UK, made these comments ahead of the association’s yearly conference. These comments come in the wake of Honda’s decision to close its plant in Swindon by 2022 and earlier this year, another Japanese carmaker Nissan, announced that it would not make the X-Trail SUV in its plant in Sunderland. Hackitt blamed politicians and warned that a ‘no deal’ Brexit is going to be a disaster. She said, “Some of our politicians have put selfish political ideology ahead of the national interest and people’s livelihoods and left us facing the catastrophic prospect of leaving the EU next month with no deal.”
As far as manufacturers are concerned, the attraction of the UK as a hub was quite attractive before the concerns regarding Brexit and the prospect of fresh trade terms came into the picture. For Japanese carmakers like Nissan and Honda, the UK provided them with an excellent manufacturing center, while at the same time giving them access to the common market in Europe.
If there is no deal in place once Brexit comes into effect, then those companies would no longer have access to that common market, and naturally, the UK will no longer remain a manufacturing hub of choice for a range of companies. The British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the European Union, and there is not much time left for the country when it comes to reaching an actual agreement with the EU. If the UK eventually leaves the EU with no deal in place, then products from the country will be subject to customs checks, and it is yet unclear what sort of tariffs are going to be imposed. In addition to that, the global economic slowdown, the trade war between the United States and China and the shrinking demand all over the world is also going to have a big effect on the manufacturing sector in the UK. If the sector is then subjected to a ‘no deal’ Brexit, then it could well turn out to be a catastrophe.