The Workers Union has told the government to ‘stand up and protect’ British car manufacturers.
The news came after the EU rejected the claim that Japanese parts used in UK factories should be regarded as British.
The automotive industry argued that the “rules of origin” system would cover parts sourced from “third nations.” However, the EU have taken a hardline stance against allowing parts supplied from outside the bloc to be considered “British”.
The rules of origin system has reignited the debate about the status of the British car industry. Some sources claim that plants in this country merely assemble cars rather than manufacture them. How this is broken down affects the industry’s ability to export cars without tariffs. For example, to be considered “British” after January the 1st next year, a vehicle exported to the EU would need to comprise of at least 60 percent local parts.
If the UK fails to secure movement on this issue, it will mean British-manufactured vehicles are slapped with a hefty 10 percent tariff. Moreover, this will apply regardless of whether the government successfully negotiates a free trade deal.
The Workers Union Says
The news that the EU’s playing hard-ball over this issue will come as no surprise to workers in British car factories. Since the country decided to Brexit they’ve been on tenterhooks. And with no sign of a deal being struck, the present uncertainty is likely to affect jobs and investment.
We’re calling on the government to stand up to the EU. A deal that gives some flexibility in this area should not be beyond our negotiators. We have trump cards in terms of our trade in services and access to natural resources. We should not be afraid to use them to secure the best possible outcome for British workers.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union