LONDON – Britain’s car industry warned the next prime minister on Tuesday against a “seismic” no-deal Brexit in October, which it said could add billions of pounds in tariffs and cause border disruption, crippling the sector.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May, and his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, have said they are prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, although it is not their preferred option.
Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned about the scale of disruption a disorderly exit would cause.
“Leaving the EU without a deal would trigger the most seismic shift in trading conditions ever experienced by automotive, with billions of pounds of tariffs threatening to impact consumer choice and affordability,” it said.
The British automotive industry fears that a disorderly exit from the EU, its biggest export market, could see the imposition of tariffs of up to 10% on finished models and border delays which could snarl up ports and motorways, ruining just-in-time production.
A hard Brexit border could cost 50,000 pounds a minute in border delays, the SMMT said.