Britain’s car industry could lose factories and 800,000 workers

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The Stellantis company requests the British government to renegotiate Brexit with the EU, because the planned EU tariffs enormously increase the cost of producing electric vehicles and there is a risk of closing factories and laying off workers.

Stellantis, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, is putting a lot of pressure on the British government: either to immediately renegotiate part of the Brexit trade agreement with the EU or it will have to close its factories in Great Britain and thus eliminate thousands of jobs.

Stellantis, based in the Netherlands, employs nearly 250,000 people in several countries.

Starting next year, stricter regulations for industrial products will apply between the EU and Great Britain. Under the Brexit deal, from then on 45 per cent of British electric car components will have to be of UK or EU origin – to be exported to the EU duty-free. From 2027, it will have to be as much as 65 percent, writes Deutsche Welle.

“Practically, it’s hard to do,” says Mike Hawes, director general of the British Automotive Industry Trade Association.

“In fact, it is difficult to get batteries, which make up a large part of the value of electric cars. Domestic production cannot meet the demand,” says Hauis.

There is a real danger that car manufacturers will really have to pay customs duties on exports to the EU from next year. Namely, electric batteries will probably have to be bought outside the EU, and most of them will most likely come from Asia, that is, probably from China or South Korea.

Andi Palmer (Andy Palmer), an expert in the automotive industry and a former manager of the Nissan company, fears that this will not only affect about 5,000 employees in Stellantis. In total, around 800,000 jobs in the UK are linked to the car industry, says Palmer.

In the meantime, the UK must continue negotiations with the EU to achieve better terms. This is also demanded by other car manufacturers, including the German Association of the Automotive Industry.

Will Labor profit?

The opposition Labor Party also joins the discussion. Because the promise of many conservatives that everything will be better with Brexit is fading more and more. The Brexit deal is not working, says Labor leader Keir Starmer.

Labour’s aim is to improve that deal to make Brexit work.

So it’s possible that bad news like this from the car industry will give Labor a boost for the next election in 2025.


Photo: Arhiva / Stellantis

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