BUSINESS Brexit deal leaves UK businesses less competitive


Brexit deal leaves UK businesses less competitive


10:33, December 11, 2018

Businesses in Britain believe the Brexit deal brokered by Prime Minister Theresa May will leave them less competitive than staying in the European Union, a parliamentary report said Monday.


File photo: VCG

The report by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee came amid rising speculations about the outcome of a planned Parliament vote on Tuesday on the Brexit deal with media reports indicating that the vote could be pulled.

The report outlines the reaction of the aerospace, automotive, processed food and drink, and pharmaceuticals sectors to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, which are currently being debated by MPs.

"The concerns of these industries, often relying on complex, just-in-time, international supply chains, reflect many other sectors that export to the EU," said the report, adding that the sectors are all vital to Britain's future manufacturing success.

Rachel Reeves, the MP who chairs the committee, said, "Businesses were clear that the deal on offer is inferior to what they currently enjoy as part of the (European) single market and customs union, with supply chains built for maximum efficiency using frictionless trade across Europe."

"Businesses need for certainty - and a desire to avoid a hard Brexit - has however led them to be supportive of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, they are under few illusions and they believe that the Withdrawal Agreement will leave them less competitive than the status quo of EU membership."

Reeves said the Political Declaration is seen as "vague" by many in the business community.

"These industries were particularly disappointed that the Political Declaration did not include an explicit commitment to pursue frictionless trade which is so important for doing business," Reeves noted.

Over the last two weeks, the committee has held a series of evidence hearings with representatives from the automotive, pharmaceuticals, food and drink sector and the aerospace industry. 

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