News | Published August 13 2019

Views from the Review: No-deal Brexit

A no-deal exit from the European Union is the Johnson government's default Brexit position. Famously stating that the UK would leave the EU on October 31 "do or die", Johnson has also tasked Michael Gove with organising preparations for no-deal, announcing an extra £2.1 billion in funding to support this. 

To assess the views of businesses on no-deal and their preparations for it, we spoke to Marius Foster, Director of John Hilton Estate Agents and Tony Shrewsbury, Managing Director of CGTech

1. Should Britain leave the EU on the 31st of October even if a deal is not reached?

Marius Foster: I feel that this [Brexit] is what the people voted for democratically and therefore their choice should be honoured by parliament. To not leave the EU would be constitutionally wrong for the country as a whole and would make a farce of the referendum vote.

2. What would you like to see the UK government do next in order to safeguard manufacturing?

Tony Shrewsbury: The government should make a promise to all UK companies that they will support them over the next two or so years to avoid job losses and closures. Following the financial crash, the government provided £46 billion of support to RBS and I feel this level of support should be repeated. 

Beyond this, I think that state-funded organisations should stop buying EU cars.

3. How do you think the immediate repercussions of no-deal would impact the sector over the following year or so?

Tony Shrewsbury: Without some support it could be very bad. In my view, the government needs to assist the re-shoring of manufacturing by making a government department, the "Ministry of Supplies", so UK companies  can find new suppliers for parts currently made in Europe. 

The government should also provide assistance to UK companies to retool and provide these parts.

We import about 1.9 million cars from the EU each year.; we export about 0.4 million. This means there is a short fall of 1.5 million cars and I am sure BMW, Mercedes, Ford or VW would be willing to invest in new UK sites to help fill the void or force the German government into giving us a great trade deal.

It is a similar story with the NHS, which spends £16 billion on drugs every year. This expenditure is a huge incentive for companies to focus on drug manufacturing in the UK. 

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The Parliamentary Review

August 13 2019

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