22 July, 2024

Four out of five manufacturers want continued regulatory alignment with the EU after Brexit

02 October, 2018

An overwhelming majority of UK industrial product manufacturers want continued regulatory alignment with the EU, a new industry survey has revealed.


Responding to a survey by the advisory body EURIS and independent experts at The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO), 83% of industrial product manufacturers support continued regulatory alignment in order to remain competitive in a global market with respondents overwhelmingly saying they see no benefit in moving away from the EU regulatory system for industrial and manufactured products.

UK companies told the survey that their supply chains have already been disrupted by post-referendum currency changes and that EU27 companies have started to select non-UK suppliers amid the ongoing uncertainty of post-Brexit arrangements.

Clarity

Industrial manufacturing representatives are calling for a Withdrawal Agreement to be reached with the European Commission at the earliest opportunity to give clarity to industry; they warn that a no-deal Brexit will cause severe damage and must be avoided.

The survey results are published in ‘Securing a competitive UK manufacturing industry post Brexit’, a report on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the industrial product supply sector by the University of Sussex-based UKTPO and EURIS, which represents companies with a collective turnover of £148 billion and with 1.1 million employees.

EURIS notes that the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU27 are the most important for its members since the formation of the single market in 1993. The advisory body warns a ‘no deal’ outcome would have lasting impacts on the industrial product supply sector, and its ability to contribute to the UK economy. This report provides specific information and guidance on the significant dangers of the ‘no deal’, and the opportunities that a ‘business-friendly’ deal will bring.

Key findings

Key findings in the report include:

• EU Regulation enables industry to remain competitive in a global market. 83% of survey respondents support continued regulatory alignment with the EU. Product regulation has a critical role in ensuring that a high standard of safe and compliant goods are placed on the EU market. There is no benefit in moving away from the EU regulatory system for industrial and manufactured products.

• Imports account for over half of total costs for 44% of companies. Any increase in barriers to trade will have significant impact on the UK’s global competitiveness. Our competitive advantage in non-EU markets depends on the UK having barrier free-trade for intermediary products and components with the EU. Notably, 52% of EURIS survey respondents stated that over half their sales were intermediate inputs for other companies.

• The longer the uncertainty over the Brexit process continues, the more long-lasting damage will be incurred by our businesses. EU 27-member states have been warned to ‘prepare for the worst’ and review their supply chains. For most companies changing suppliers is a significant decision, and one very rarely reversed and some EU27 companies have already started to select non-UK suppliers. One third of EURIS survey respondents are already thinking about or have already changed suppliers due to Brexit – sales have already been lost.




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