“The UK is the second largest car market in Europe with £35.3 billion worth of cars imported to the UK from Europe and the retail automotive sector employs 555,000 people directly in the UK. Following the result of the vote last night, NFDA urges the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure that our industry is protected. Businesses and consumers need clarity about the Government’s future plans”.

Where Are We Now?

After a week of theatrics in Parliament, the Prime Minister saw MPs reject her withdrawal agreement by a historic margin, followed by vote of no confidence the next day.

In the aftermath of her no confidence survival, Mrs May invited the leaders of opposition parties to meet with her to discuss the way forward on Brexit, all of whom agreed – except Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn has refused to discuss Brexit with the PM until a ‘No Deal’ exit is ruled out entirely – May sees no deal as Britain’s final negotiating tool, and insists that we must be prepared to accept it if an agreement cannot be reached.

Red Lines

Corbyn has also called on May to abandon her Brexit red lines in order to get concessions from the EU. May has consistently vowed to take the UK out of the Single Market, the Customs Union and to end free movement into the UK from EU countries. These red lines have major implications for the future of imports and labour supply in the UK, even more so, if Britain leaves without a transition period in which to agree a future trade relationship.

The reality of a no deal exit is beginning to grow on EU member states. French Prime Minister Phillipe announced the ramping up of France’s own no deal contingency plans, which include significant investment into ports and customs staff.

The contents of Theresa May’s Plan B are still being finalised, as discussions with MPs, party leaders and the Cabinet continue. Mrs May will present her Brexit ‘Plan B’ to Parliament on Monday 21 January. However, uncertainty over Britain’s future will persist until MPs vote on the plans, which will not be until Tuesday 29 January.

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