The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) reaffirms industry concerns about the brinksmanship involved in EU-UK discussions for a free trade agreement as matters go beyond the “11th hour.”
An “Australia-style deal” which government is prepared to accept is a synonym for a “no-deal” with the UK moving to WTO terms from January 1. This will confirm an arms’ length relationship between the UK and the EU. Both the automotive and agricultural sectors will be hard hit by tariffs with this arrangement. Amongst the many concerns of the CEA is that instability in these sectors may put pressure on shared supply chains for manufacturers.
CEA Chief Executive, Rob Oliver, explains, “We continue to stress to government that the well-being of UK construction equipment manufacturing is linked with that of manufacturing as a whole. Tier 1 suppliers and below often supply to the car and agricultural machinery sectors – and even the aerospace industry. When one sector is in trouble it can cause a ripple effect. With the diminishing prospect of the free trade agreement, we were promised then the rationale for investing in UK manufacturing comes under pressure. With the continuing spectre of COVID-19 still affecting all businesses, we are coming to a watershed moment for our industry.”