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RMI warns of looming staff and trade issues without Brexit deal

Peter Johnson

Concerns about staffing and trade have led the Retail Motor Industry to press the UK Government for certainty on Brexit by the end of November.

RMI president Peter Johnson told attendees of its annual dinner that frictionless, tariff-free terms of trade are in the interests of the whole sector.

“Whether they settle on a Chequers-style deal, or a Canada-plus deal, or a form of customs union, our industry must have a deal agreed and that deal approved by Parliament this November. Neither our suppliers, nor our customers, nor our own businesses will benefit from delays at border checkpoints nor from tariffs set at two levels,” said Johnson.

He voiced fears that rules on which workers would be allowed to come to the UK after 2020 could bring labour shortages.

He said the UK’s automotive sector provides employment for more than 800,000 people, and the RMI wants that to continue to grow.

“I can remember the frustrations of the ‘80s and ‘90s when bad management and aggressive union activity nearly wrecked the UK automotive industry.

“We cannot allow the current political manoeuvring to cause the same threat today.”

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