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UK car industry ‘welcomes’ tariff-free post-Brexit trade agreement

British car industry bosses have welcomed the post-Brexit trade agreement reached between the UK and the European Union, which is set to avoid the introduction of tariffs on cars and car parts.

The trade deal, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson estimates is worth around £660 billion, was agreed after years of negotiation between the UK government and EU officials. The deal still needs to be ratified by both the UK parliament and the 27 EU member states.

Johnson described the agreement as a “comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal”, and said it will “allow UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without quotas in the EU market.” The full text of the deal has yet to be released.

UK car industry leaders have repeatedly pushed for such a tariff-free trade deal, which they said was vital given the frequent movement of both car parts and completed vehicles across the UK-EU border. More than 85 per cent of the cars made in the UK are exported, with the EU the biggest single market.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) had estimated a no-deal Brexit could cost the car industry £55 billion in five years, and add an average of £2000 to the price of a car in the UK.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes welcomed the new deal, saying it “provides a platform for our future relationship.”

He added: “We await the details to ensure this deal works for all automotive goods and technologies, including specifics on rules of origin and future regulatory co-operation. A phase-in period is critical to help businesses on both sides adapt and efforts should now be sustained to ensure seamless implementation, with tariff-free trade fully accessible and effective for all from day one.

“We will continue to work closely with government to ensure all companies are as prepared as possible in the limited time left.”

Sue Robinson, the head of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “It is positive that the UK Government has reached a Brexit deal with the EU that avoids tariffs on vehicles and vehicle parts. As an industry, we now have further clarity, which will enable greater investment into the sector and support consumer confidence.”

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