Manufacturers call for Brexit strategy rethink


The regime should rethink its Brexit strategy, following last week’s voting, according to the engineering industry organisation, the EEF.

It said without a more pro-business standpoint, the resulting political instability may force more firms to alter their foresees “away from the UK”.

The EEF is the latest business organisation to call for a rethink of the administration’s Brexit plans.

It wants access to the single market to be at the heart of Brexit transactions.

The EEF said even before the election firms were already revising or thinking about changing their business plans because of the Brexit plebiscite.

Terry Scuoler, EEF chief executive, said the government had already “put away a year” and needed to “move away from its previous rhetoric and start repairing ties with EU partners”.

For the EEF that meant putting access to the single buy and staying in a customs union at the centre of the government’s negotiations and involving enterprise groups in the talks over trade.

It is also calling for a “suitable” change-over period to be “firmly back on the table” as part of the Brexit talks.

On Monday Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, phoned for the government to “reset” Brexit negotiations, which are due to start next week.

In the meanwhile, the uncertainty caused by the general election has led business confidence to sink “via the floor”, according to the Institute of Directors.

A snap poll of 700 associates of the lobby group found a “dramatic drop” in confidence following the hung parliament.

The gas main priority for the new government should be striking a new trade deal with the European Junction, according to the IoD.

Business groups such as the CBI and EEF believe the election result has acceded the hand of those wanting a “hard Brexit”, which would number among leaving not just the EU but also the single market, customs union and escaping the power of the European Court of Justice.

They favour a deal that desire give British business much the same access to the rest of the EU as they from now and seem to be freshly emboldened to press their case.

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