Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

BMW says Brexit customs costs would push up prices

BMW says Brexit customs costs would push up prices

A spokesman for the British government said it was working for the "most free and frictionless trade with our European neighbours".

Mr Hawes called on prime minister Theresa May to "retain membership of the Customs Union and the benefits of the Single Market".

Chris Grayling, the secretary of state for transport, told delegates at the SMMT summit that he was confident the United Kingdom and EU would reach a "sensible agreement" to protect trade on both sides, even as the United Kingdom leaves the customs union and single market.

After the Airbus, BMW, the auto giant, has also issued a similar warning.

Robertson said: "If we don't get clarity in the next couple of months we have to start making those contingency plans, which means making the United Kingdom less competitive than it is in a very competitive world right now".

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Ian Robertson, the boss of BMW of the United Kingdom branch has cleared his intention of receiving a green signal by the time the summer ends.

Writing in The Guardian, David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England's rate-setting monetary policy committee, said the fallout from the "disastrous" Brexit vote and the government's "calamitous" negotiating strategy are having a damaging effect on business investment in the United Kingdom.

"We are committed to our operations in the United Kingdom, our workforce here", he added.

"What we don't want to see is any delays or impediments that stop that", said Robertson.

More people now work at VDL Nedcar than BMW employs at its plant in Oxford.

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BMW's just-in-time production system requires the free movement of parts and goods.

He was speaking as it was revealed investment in United Kingdom auto production has nearly halved, from £647million in the first six months of 2017 to £347million over the same period this year.

"That is a decisive issue that ultimately could damage this industry", Robertson added.

"There is no Brexit dividend for our industry, particularly in what is an increasingly hostile and protectionist global trading environment", Hawes said.

"There is no credible plan B for frictionless customs arrangements, nor is it realistic to expect that new trade deals can be agreed with the rest of the world that will replicate the vast value of trade with the European Union", added Mr Hawes.

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Leaving the single market and customs union will, he said, bring an end to the seamless movement of goods that the United Kingdom sector relies upon and he called on government to rethink its plans.

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