July 2019 Brexit update

Jul 01, 2019
Cróna Clohisey gives a summary of the latest happenings in British politics, what’s next for Brexit and a look at the greater impact the exit is having on manufacturing in the UK.

With the race to find a new Conservative leader (and Prime Minister) in the UK heating up, Brexit appears to have been put on the back burner – for now. The EU and UK are still planning, however, for an exit date of 31 October 2019. 

In the meantime, the European Commission issued a warning to the UK that it will have to pay its outstanding share of the EU budget even if it leaves the EU without a Brexit deal. 

In a statement confirming the EU’s Brexit preparedness remains fit for purpose, the Commission said it would not enter talks on the future trading relationship until the UK honours “the financial obligations the UK has made as a member state”.

Car production falls dramatically

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), despite the fact that Brexit was delayed until 31 October, the postponement came too late for factories to change plans, prompting a dramatic reduction in output. And, so, the car factories shut down many of their operations in the UK in April to cope with disruption from 29 March, resulting in UK car production being cut in half for April. Car factories normally incorporate a shutdown period over the summer, but this was brought forward to April to cope with the supply chain disruption that Brexit might have brought and to give manufacturers time to learn new customs procedures. 

EU negotiator to lead trade unit

The EU’s deputy Brexit negotiator, Sabine Weyand, will lead the EU Commission’s trade unit in Brussels from June. This means she will be front and centre in the future during talks with the UK on its future relationship with the EU after Brexit.