Britain and the EU: Manufacturing an Orderly Exit

View Authors September 2016

The UK has voted by a majority in a referendum to leave the European Union (EU) and Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to enact the wishes of the British people.

However, in doing so, the exact terms of how we exit the EU and the nature of our future relationship is far from clear. What is certain is that the forthcoming negotiations on our exit will have long-term implications for businesses in the UK.

For manufacturers, a carefully-engineered Brexit is vital to both supporting and protecting industry in the UK. We strongly support ambitions to be an even greater global trading nation based on a new approach to backing British industry. However, ministers and officials must avoid a rushed or clumsy exit plan, which could do lasting damage to manufacturing in the UK and the wider economy.

The Government should develop its Brexit negotiation strategy in close consultation with business to ensure the UK’s long-term economic interests are not harmed.

This report sets out some of the important issues highlighted by manufacturers who want to see a smooth exit with minimum disruption to trade. While retaining access to the single market and maintaining free movement of employees are not necessarily politically convenient or easy to resolve as part of a negotiation, they do underline the need to tread carefully as the Government prepares the ground for our eventual departure from the EU.

This report has been produced by EEF in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs.