Manufacturers & entrepreneurs urge Govt to secure strong deal with EU

More than 100 small to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and business associations, with significant experience of trading with the EU, have all signed a letter to the Prime Minister highlighting the economic damage a potential 'no-deal Brexit' would cause.

With companies all over the country under immense financial pressure due to Covid-19, concerns are rising that no meaningful progress has been made in negotiations with the EU, and a damaging no-deal is looking increasingly likely.

A letter written directly to the Prime Minister from Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens UK, The Chemicals Business Association and the Manufacturing Technology Association, and signed by 110 entrepreneurs and small-to-medium sized enterprises, has called for continued alignment with EU regulatory bodies and transparent trading arrangements to ensure that business prospects are not further damaged by a no-deal Brexit.

The letter in full

Dear Prime Minister,

Today marks the point of no return for needing to agree an EU trade deal and prepare the country for that by the end of this year. That focuses the mind, and we assume that is your hope, to put pressure on such a deal being found.

It is however also a huge gamble. With the Coronavirus pandemic having created an enormous economic shock across the UK and around the world. With just six months to go, to the end of the Brexit transition period in December, a no-deal outcome would be hugely damaging to the UK economy. Resulting in more people out of work and lower living standards.

The government’s own analysis suggests that the downside of a no-deal exit, compared to continuing with our current arrangements, would be approximately 8% of GDP in 15 years’ time – perhaps more.

We are now witnessing increasing global trade tensions, and a sharp focus on localising of supply chains, that will make promised trade with the USA, China and others more difficult. This will make even the most optimistic upside from global trade of 0.7% of GDP in 15 years less likely.

To minimise the downsides, it is vital that the UK achieves the best possible trading arrangements with the EU and other countries. We are calling for these trading arrangements to uphold the common high standards currently applicable on both sides in the areas of state aid, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and tax.

Continued alignment with the key EU regulatory bodies that allow free flow of products in such areas as pharmaceutical, medical, and chemical supplies is also essential to keep non-tariff barriers to a minimum. The UK’s financial services businesses also urgently need assurance of an equivalence agreement with the EU that is broader than the traditional arrangements and gives them much greater certainty.

In addition, businesses simply do not have time or capacity to prepare for big changes in trading rules by the end of the year – especially given that we are already grappling with the upheaval caused by Coronavirus. Securing deals that match the current arrangements as closely as possible is therefore even more essential to make those adjustments easier.

We are therefore calling on you to ensure full transparency over the substance of these negotiations and these deals, to enable proper assessment of the potential economic consequences and through that assure us that the economic downside on our businesses can be minimised.

If, despite the warnings from business and others, the government pushes ahead with no-deal or a bad deal at the end this year, it will create a further economic shock and cost people’s jobs, which we desperately want to avoid, especially at this point when our businesses need to be focused on recovering from the Coronavirus crisis.

Yours sincerely,

Signed by 110 small to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and business associations with significant experience of trading with the EU. We are all proud to create significant value for the UK economy and our interest is to continue doing so.

Dan Aherne New England Seafood International CEO
Rob Arnot Cavagna Group UK Ltd Managing Director
Tony Bannan Precision Technologies Group (PTG) Limited CEO
Shaun Bennett Paragon Inks (Holdings) Ltd. Managing Director
Mike Berry BGS International Limited Managing Director
Adrian Binks Argus Media Group Chairman & Chief Executive
Bob Bischof German British Forum Chairman
Michael Bischof Pentagon Sports (Cheshire) ltd Managing Director
Tom Bowtell British Coatings Federation CEO
Alan Breeze Breeze & Associates Ltd Director
Nick Brooks 4CM Ltd Managing Director
Peter Brown Neill & Brown Global Logistics Group Ltd CEO
David Brown Neida Ltd CEO
Stephen Bulmer Biesse Group UK Limited. CEO
Marcus Burton MBE Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd Non-Executive Director
Roy Butler Butlers of Kent Director
Alan Carradice The White Sea & Baltic Company Ltd Managing Director
Sandy Chen Graphene Composites CEO
Alex Chesterman Cazoo Founder & CEO
Martin F Cicognani Richard Baker Harrison Ltd Managing Director
Andrew Clarke Centre Colours Ltd Director
Sir Cary L. Cooper signing in personal capacity
Tim Cotterill James Lister and Sons Limited Chairman
Tim Cowen Antitrust Practice Chair
Barry Crompton Abrasive Finishing Systems Ltd Managing Director
Simon Curtis Haynes and Boone LLP London Senior Counsel
Ellen Daniels British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) CEO
Tim Darch Quick Grind Limited Commercial Manager
Yves de Contandes The eXcelelnce GROUP Managing Director
Emma Degg North West Business Leadership Team CEO
Dinesh Dhamija Ebookers Founder and former CEO
Andrew Dixon ARC InterCapital CEO
Richard Duncalf Hervia Group Chairman
Geoff Eaton Butcher’s Pet Care Ltd Chairman
Stephen Foster Vickers Laboratories Ltd Managing Director
James Fudge MTA Hd of Events & Members Services
Tim M Gibbons SPARKFORD Chemicals Ltd Managing Director
Kevin Gilbert Mills CNC Ltd Managing Director
Richard Gilkes Stort Chemicals Ltd Managing Director
Stephen Gosling Adams Aviation Supply Co Ltd Former CEO
Keith Gould Gelpke & Bate Ltd Director
Carol Hagh Old Game New Rules Founder
Peter Harding Advanced Grinding Supplies Limited Managing Director
Kim Hicks Sawcraft UK Ltd. Company Secretary
Lisa Hipgrave IFRAUK (Trade Association Director
Jason Hornsby Navigator Terminals UK Limited CEO
Dermott Hughes Western AS Ltd Managing Director
Kate Humphrey TAMS UK LTD Managing Director
Edward James Citizen Machinery UK Limited Managing Director
Simon Jordon SCHÜTZ (UK) Ltd General Manager
Hiroshi Kawai Fujichem Sonneborn Limited CFO
Daniel Kaye Hawks Chemical Director
Julian Kear Phase 3 CNC / Spindle Revolution Ltd Managing Director
Ted Kennedy Pebble Hotels Chairman
Caroline Kenyon The Food Awards Company Director
Mottie Kessler 2M Holdings Ltd Chairman & CEO
Donna Kifford Dakram Materials Ltd Sales & Quality Assurance
Ewan Kirk Cantab Capital Partners Founder and CIO
Alan Looney Natchemco UK Ltd. Managing Director
Martyn Lyons Inter Terminals CEO
Juergen Maier CBE Siemens UK Former CEO
Tilly McAuliffe Think Publishing and & Wanderlust Publications Owner
Sarah McCartney 4160 Tuesdays Ltd CEO
Becket McGrath Solicitor
Jim Mercer BOC Limited Executive Director, Ops
Matthias Meyer Heller Machine Tools UK Managing Director
Bob Milton Tapfreight Ltd. Managing Director
Kate Mingay Dakram Materials Ltd Managing Director
Dr Simon Murdoch Episode 1 Ventures Managing Partner
Matt Neale Tessiant Managing Partner
Peter Newport Chemical Business Organisation Chief Executive
Michael O’Mara Michael O’Mara Books Chairman
Rafe Offer Sofar Sounds Founder and Chair
Mark Peers Supply Point Systems Ltd, President
Mark Petterson Signing in personal capacity Company Founder and Director
Neville Prior Cornelius Group plc Chairman
Vicky Pryce Former joint head of the government economic service
Martin Rimmer Masterclass Group CEO
Henry Ritchotte RitMir Ventures Founder
Martyn J Round H S Richards Ltd Managing Director
Beate Ruebig Fronius UK Ltd Managing Director
Alister Scott The One Leadership Project Co-Founder
Lee Scott Starrag UK Ltd. Director
Ian Seager Seager Publishing Ltd Owner
Kevin Sefton Untied CEO
James Selka Manufacturing Technologies Association CEO
Howard Sellers signing in personal capacity
Jonathan Sellers A-Gas Electronic Materials Managing Director
Geeta Sidhu-Robb Nosh Detox Delivery Ltd CEO
Janis Sinton TasteTech Ltd Managing Director
James Smith Kalsec Europe Limited. Managing Director
James Stansfield Filtermist International CEO
John Stapleton New Covent Garden Soup Co & Little Dish Co-Founder
Martin Steele Safapac Holdings Ltd Chairman
Mike Stein Valo Therapeutics Ltd CEO
Philip Tarleton Meade-King, Robinson & Co. Ltd Managing Director
Graham Tattam Siegwerk (UK) Ltd Sales Manager UK & IRL
Jessica Taylor Chantry Chemicals Ltd Business Ops Director
Andy Toms TML Laser Director
Stephen Totty Star Micronics GB Limited Managing Director
Peter Tresadern INX International UK Ltd. Managing Director
Ernst Wagner Kasto Limited UK Managing Director
Ylva Wahlberg Ostling Etchmark Ltd Director
Kenton Ward LIVE IT Group Ltd CEO
Phil Wedgewood Engage Solutions CEO
David Wilkins Kaltenbach Ltd Managing Director
John Wills Tyrolit ltd Managing Director
Margaret Wood MBE ICW (UK) LTD Chair
Steve Woollven Reliance Precision Ltd Managing Director
Ian Wrigglesworth Durham Group Chairman

*Header image courtesy of Depositphotos