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UK car industry adamant: Britain must stay in EU

Latest Motor News // 03 April 2014

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Britain’s car industry has expressed its overwhelming opposition to a UK exit from the European Union, saying EU membership is crucial for jobs, investment and growth within the sector. Over 90% of companies in the £60bn car industry believe staying in the EU would be the best for their business, according to a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The position of the UK automotive industry is clear: being part of a strong Europe is critical for future success. This report, and our member survey, shows that Britain’s EU membership is fundamental to investment, growth and jobs in automotive companies of all sizes.”

Car manufacturing in Britain rose to a six-year high, of 1.51m vehicles, in 2013, an annual increase of 3.1%. The number of new cars sold increased by 10.8%, to 2.26m. It is believed that if the UK car market is to maintain this position and increase activity in global markets then the UK must help to shape the EU policies and budgets. Michael Fallon, Conservative MP, said there was no evidence that the vote on EU membership was causing uncertainty among businesses, stating that the only proof of uncertainty would be if investment began to slow down.

The SMMT report showed that EU membership is perceived to aid with trade negotiations and therefore helps progression and growth within the UK car industry. Research and development into new car technologies and materials is also heavily funded by the EU and means that skilled engineers can be moved around the industry easily.

It remains undecided whether the UK will break away from the EU but it is proven that if it were to happen, the UK car industry would suffer.