Brexit readiness program launched for small businesses

The SMMT has put together a Brexit readiness program to help small automotive businesses in the event of a no-deal Brexit. UK supply manufacturing contributes £4.9 billion to the British economy

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has already begun to cause disruption within the automotive sector with many manufacturers opting for factory shutdowns. However, it’s the smaller suppliers that are at the greatest risk during this departure. The Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has launched a Brexit readiness program in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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Currently the UK enjoys frictionless trading with other European nations, meaning that there’s no import taxes or restrictions on what can be sold abroad. This is particularly important for manufacturing as most companies use a just-in-time process that has parts produced as and when needed. Britain is home to many car manufacturing factories and smaller business that supply the industry globally, but added taxes and checks potentially caused by Brexit will reduce their profitability.

Small but highly skilled workforces producing key components or offering restoration services are at the highest risk should hefty tariffs be applied to UK trade in the event of no-deal. This is why the SMMT has created a program that includes a free helpline offering the knowledge and support of five legal and accountancy firms. The aim is to help small and medium-sized enterprises adapt to tax, customs, employment law, and regulation changes.

The SMMT states that such businesses account for 82,000 jobs in the UK, which contribute £4.9 billion to the economy each year.

SMMT leader Mike Hawes said: “A no-deal Brexit could have devastating consequences. With the clock ticking on negotiations, businesses must plan for all eventualities, including the worst. Our new support package seeks to mitigate the threat of no deal by helping businesses navigate the complex trade realities of a post-Brexit landscape.”

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