Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Europe, Energy & Climate Change, responding to today’s published report from the manufacturers’ association EEF1, said:

“This is a report Liam Fox cannot ignore. It clearly sets out the view of UK Exporters that continued access to the European Single Market must be an absolute priority. These are the people Mr. Fox’s department is supposed to represent and yet we know that he favours a “Hard Brexit” which, as his colleague David Davis, has explained could leave us out of the Single Market relying only on WTO rules.

“Exporters know that this would mean increased costs, trade barriers and administrative burdens. The report could not be more damning about the government’s wait and see attitude. Companies are not asking for a running commentary. But businesses need regulatory certainty in order to plan, structure and invest in export opportunities. Government dithering about its red lines and priorities is seriously damaging confidence.

“One of the most significant aspects of the EEF report is the emphasis on the complexity and importance of non-tariff barriers. This means that government cannot just plough ahead in negotiations without detailed consultation with industry on how non-tariff barriers will affect UK manufacturers. This is a government that is proving good at talking but bad at listening. It is vital that they listen to the strong messages from Britain’s exporters that are embodied in this excellent report.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. EEF, the manufacturing association, today (Wednesday 21 September 2016) publishes their report: ‘Britain and the EU: Manufacturing an Orderly Exit’
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