Hard Brexit wrong choice for UK manufacturing

Posted on 28 Mar 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The Manufacturer’s editorial director, Nick Peters speaks with Dr Steven Barr, managing director of Hennik Edge, about what impact a ‘hard brexit’ could have on the UK’s manufacturing sector.

The EEF has told the government that UK manufacturing could not endure a so-called hard brexit, and that ‘no deal’ with the EU, which the Prime Minister has said is better than a bad deal, is ‘simply unacceptable’.

This follows the admission to the Parliamentary Brexit committee last week from David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, that the government has not worked out what the consequences of a Hard Brexit would be for the UK economy.

EEF CEO, Terry Scuoler warned: “The idea of being able to walk away empty-handed might be a negotiating tactic, but it would in reality deliver a risky and expensive blow. The rhetoric from the UK government needs to focus instead on achieving a deal that will work for the UK and the EU.

“Close consultation between government and industry is now vital if we are to successfully deliver a deal that supports trade and minimises costs and uncertainty.”

The Manufacturer’s editorial director, Nick Peters discussed the issue with the managing director of Hennik Edge, Dr Steven Barr.

With the triggering of Article 50 about to take place this week (Wednesday 29 March), Peters asked if this apparent lack of understanding on the government’s part is what has galvanised manufacturers to speak out.

Details of a new diagnostic service for manufacturers who wish to understand more about their readiness for Brexit will be announced very shortly. In the meantime, the Hennik Edge Collaboratory is the perfect place for manufacturers to network with their peers and discover how others are coping with these uncertain times.

It is free for manufacturers to join, and you can visit the website for more information and to sign up: hennikedge.profinda.com

Make sure your voice is heard

There is an urgent need for manufacturers, particularly small and medium-sized firms, to make their voices heard in the debate over the UK’s developing Industrial Strategy.

There’s a danger that government won’t hear the very genuine concerns and the fresh ideas of SMEs, those business, for example, which are suffering most with skills shortages, in competition with much larger companies and as a result of being in locations away from the main industrial heartlands.

These isolated manufacturers are also the ones in need of infrastructure investment to better connect them with opportunities. SMEs are the lifeblood of UK industry, offering a secure source of high quality components and the breadth of ingenuity to develop new products and services. As such, their voices have to be heard.

Responses should be submitted no later than 11:45pm on 17 April 2017 using the CitizenSpace online consultation platform.