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2 minute read

Manufacturers pressing EU leaders to break Brexit logjam

Groups representing industry across Europe are pressing EU leaders to break the logjam in Brexit negotiations and trigger urgent talks on a transition deal if they are to avoid creating mutually assured economic damage in the UK and throughout the EU.

Members of CEEMET, which represents over 200,000 firms in Europe, are calling on political leaders to deliver a ‘meaningful transitional arrangement’ by the end of the year – or risk damaging complex and integrated supply chains irrevocably.

Manufacturers across Europe are calling on the EU Council of ministers and UK negotiators to focus on agreeing an early, time limited, transitional arrangement for business in the on-going negotiations between the EU and the UK. Protecting business interests, they argue, is best served if negotiations on UK exit deliver a ‘reasonable deal in a reasonable time’ for all European manufacturers.

Members of CEEMET are calling on political leaders to deliver a ‘meaningful transitional arrangement’ by the end of the year / Picture: Getty/iStock


CEEMET, which represents European Technology and Industry Employers, has warned that industry faces a lose-lose situation if a transition which maintains existing trade and customs regimes is not agreed within months.

Ahead of releasing the powerful statement, CEEMET Director General Uwe Combüchen said: “EU and UK negotiators have a responsibility to ensure minimal disruption for businesses, for employers and employees. That is why companies across the continent want to see swift progress on transitional arrangements to avoid unintended consequences and economic collateral damage arising from a failure to agree an orderly exit.”

During this period CEEMET believes that the EU and UK should continue to maintain the mutual economic benefits of the single market and remain in an effective customs union.

This transitional arrangement should provide businesses across Europe with the certainly needed, and maintain confidence to trade and create jobs – avoiding a two-stage exit process which risks competitiveness and could hinder investment.

The transition should enable people to move freely across border to support supply chains and address the sector’s skills gap, while a single regulatory environment, supported by mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation, must also continue during the interim period.

Terry Scuoler, CEO EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation said: “As manufacturers we will continue to press hard for a smooth and orderly Brexit. A transitional period of at least two years remains a must for the sector. European businesses are making it clear that they too want a clear transition period delivered as soon as possible.

“The logjam in negotiations could damage industry unless there is a breakthrough on a transition deal. Clarity over this transition is essential to business both in the UK and the EU so we can continue to deliver prosperity and investment in jobs alongside economic growth. We need this clarity by the end of the year.”