The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has issued a response to the Brexit deal that was negotiated between the UK government and European Council to formalise the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “For the automotive industry, Brexit is about damage limitation. The outline agreement is a positive step in avoiding the devastating consequences of ‘no-deal’ and securing a transition period.
“It is, however, only a first step and business seeks certainty and ambition when it comes to securing a competitive future. Truly frictionless trade is the only way to ensure the industry’s future success, and this should be the objective for all parties as we move into negotiating the permanent UK-EU relationship.”
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council described Brexit as a “lose-lose” situation and said the negotiations were “only about damage control”.
In a volatile political atmosphere in Westminster on 15 November, before prime minister Theresa May presented the withdrawal agreement to Parliament, two members resigned from her cabinet before 10am, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions secretary Esther McVey. Junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman also resigned.