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Brexit may make UK car sector 'extinct,' warns business lobby

June 14, 2018 00:00:00


LONDON, June 13 (AFP): The president of Britain's main business lobby on Wednesday warned that the country's car industry risked "becoming extinct" outside the EU's customs union.

"If we do not have a customs union, there are sectors of manufacturing society in the UK which risk becoming extinct," Confederation of British Industry (CBI) president Paul Dreschler told BBC Radio 4's Today programmeme.

He highlighted the car industry as being particularly threatened by any deal that did not secure "real frictionless trade" with the European Union (EU) post-Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to commit to some kind of customs partnership as she pushes key Brexit legislation through parliament, despite promising that Britain would make a clean break with the EU in order to strike trade deals with the rest of the world.

The CBI president claimed there was "zero evidence" that such deals would provide any economic benefit to Britain.

"There's zero evidence that independent trade deals will provide any economic benefit to the UK that's material. It's a myth," he said.

The uncertainty was also forcing companies to delay investment decisions, he added. "We already know tens of millions, in fact hundreds of millions have been invested by UK pharmaceutical and finance companies to create continuity post a worse-case Brexit scenario," he said.

"We still haven't got clarity about the future direction, about where we're heading, what will the future relationship with Europe be, at a level of detail that matters for investment."

Brexit campaigner Patrick Minford, from the Economists for Free Trade group, accused the CBI of doing the bidding of "vested interests that oppose the competition and productivity growth that free trade under Brexit will bring".

"Precisely what Brexit will do is remove the EU protectionism and excessive regulation that is holding back our economy," he told the BBC. "The gains from our potential free trade agreements are well documented. Our calculations put them at 4 per cent of GDP," he added.

May on Tuesday avoided a major blow to her Brexit strategy after lawmakers rejected a plan that would have given parliament a veto on the final deal negotiated with Brussels, but only after reaching a backroom deal with potential rebels.

She faces further battles on Wednesday over how closely Britain stays aligned with the EU's economy after leaving.


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COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
ITC 41.1 45.2 40.5 45.2 9.9757%
APEXFOODS 161.7 177.8 163.2 177.8 9.9567%
IBP 33.5 36.8 34.9 36.8 9.8507%
KTL 25.8 28.3 27.2 28.3 9.6899%
VFSTDL 52.2 57.2 53.9 57.1 9.387%
SONALIANSH 468.7 509.7 472.0 509.7 8.7476%
STANDARINS 25.2 27.7 25.3 27.4 8.7302%
REPUBLIC 28.2 30.7 29.0 30.6 8.5106%
ARAMIT 390.6 424.7 391.1 423.6 8.4485%
GEMINISEA 342.4 372.3 343.6 369.7 7.9731%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
MICEMENT 71.5 71.5 65.5 65.5 9.1603%
ARAMIT 424.7 424.7 391.1 391.1 8.5912%
APEXFOODS 177.8 177.8 163.2 164.7 7.9539%
ITC 45.2 45.2 40.5 41.9 7.8759%
SAIHAMTEX 57.9 58.4 53.7 53.7 7.8212%
STANDARINS 27.2 27.7 25.3 25.3 7.5099%
DSHGARME 194.8 194.8 182.0 182.0 7.033%
QUEENSOUTH 46.9 47.9 44.0 44.0 6.5909%
AZIZPIPES 170.3 170.3 157.0 159.9 6.5041%
WATACHEM 563.7 563.7 530.0 530.0 6.3585%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
BBSCABLES 114.0 105.8 100.6 102.6 -10%
IMAMBUTTON 28.3 29.0 25.6 25.7 -9.1873%
SIMTEX 37.8 36.0 33.1 34.4 -8.9947%
BDWELDING 16.8 16.9 15.2 15.3 -8.9286%
ALIF 10.1 9.6 9.1 9.2 -8.9109%
JUTESPINN 131.3 135.0 119.0 120.2 -8.4539%
GPHISPAT 37.9 35.5 34.8 35.0 -7.6517%
AIL 77.4 75.0 71.0 71.8 -7.2351%
HAKKANIPUL 72.1 75.9 66.8 67.5 -6.38%
BEACHHATCH 11.7 11.8 10.7 11.0 -5.9829%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
JUTESPINN 119.4 135.0 119.0 135.0 -11.5556%
IMAMBUTTON 25.7 29.0 25.6 29.0 -11.3793%
MEGCONMILK 23.0 25.7 22.6 25.7 -10.5058%
HAKKANIPUL 67.2 75.9 66.8 75.0 -10.4%
SAVAREFR 101.0 113.5 100.7 112.1 -9.9019%
KOHINOOR 467.0 507.0 459.1 507.0 -7.8895%
BDWELDING 15.7 16.9 15.2 16.9 -7.1006%
BEACHHATCH 10.8 11.8 10.7 11.6 -6.8966%
KAY 171.0 185.4 188.5 QUE 172.8%
SONARGAON 18.2 20.0 18.2 19.5 -6.6667%