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Brexit extension must be used to take ‘no deal’ off table, says SMMT

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has responded to today’s announcement of a Brexit extension as it continues its calls for a no deal Brexit to be taken off the table.

The SMMT says Brexit uncertainty has already caused serious damage to the UK car industry

Commenting on the new 31 October deadline, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While we’ve avoided a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Friday, it is utterly unacceptable that, more than two years since negotiations started, industry still does not know what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be in the coming weeks and months.

“Uncertainty has already caused serious damage – car plants are on enforced shutdown, investment has been cut and jobs lost. This cannot go on.

“Government and Parliament must use this extension purposefully to take ‘no deal’ off the table for good, and guarantee a positive long-term resolution that delivers frictionless trade. If they fail, we face yet another devastating ‘no deal’ precipice on 31 October.”

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, also called for the extension time to be used wisely.

Director Sue Robinson said: “Although it is positive that we have avoided a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Friday, the Government must now use this extension to agree on a deal which protects the interests of the automotive retail sector, one of the strongest contributors to the economy of the UK.

“With more than half a million people employed in automotive retail, the stability of our industry cannot continue to be undermined by the political uncertainty that has been affecting businesses and consumers for more than two years.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.