London – UK manufacturers organisation Make UK has “cautiously welcomed” the Brexit trade agreement between the UK and EU, while warning that the impact on its member companies is still unclear.
The provisional trade agreement avoids the “catastrophe of no deal” and the imposition of highly damaging tariffs and quotas on exports, said Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK.
“But we will need to go through this with a fine-tooth comb to understand exactly what the impact on manufacturers will be,” Phipson commented in a 4 Jan press statement.
According to the chief executive, the UK and EU must urgently move to ensure trade can continue as normal before formal ratification.
“It is important that, with a deal in place, the UK can start to build for the future with our European partners but there are many months of further hard work yet to come,” warned Phipson.
The MAKE UK leader went on to note that, even with an agreement in place, companies will need time to adapt to the huge and complex changes ahead:
“Even without the pandemic it would be stretching credibility to believe the companies that export hundreds of billions of pounds worth of goods each year could adapt to a fundamentally different trading model in just one working week.”
“It is in everyone’s interest for the UK and EU to jointly agree that with the legal start of this deal significant easements and an adjustment period, with a review of clauses if necessary, are vital.”