The NFDA has said that Teresa May’s speech about the nature of Britain’s exit from the EU was “positive” – despite the PM’s assertion that trade will continue from outside the single market.
The Prime Minister said that remaining within the European single market would mean "not leaving the EU at all" and insisted that the government would push for the "freest possible trade" with European countries while establishing new border controls.
Article 50 will be triggered in March and will be followed by the negotiations between the UK and EU on a new free trade deal, with the UK set to leave the EU in March 2019.
But in the speech delivered this morning Mrs May added that "no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain."
It was announced that Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU, however.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech, NFDA director Sue Robinson said: “It is positive to see that the Government has revealed further details regarding its Brexit strategy which will allow businesses to start planning their future.
“During this transition period it is vital that the UK economy remains stable and businesses are given certainty.”
Robinson added: “The NFDA will continue to work with the Government to ensure the retail motor sector is recognised as a key segment of the UK economy and its interests are safeguarded.”
SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “The recognition by the Prime Minister of the importance of single market arrangements for the automotive sector is critical.
“We need government to deliver a deal which includes participation in the customs union to help safeguard EU trade, trade that is tariff-free and avoids the non-tariff and regulatory barriers that would jeopardise investment, growth and consumer choice.
“Achieving this will not be easy and we must, at all costs, avoid a cliff-edge and reversion to WTO tariffs, which would threaten the viability of the industry.”