October 28, 2020
car

EU won’t grant preferential trade terms to UK car industry, admits Frost

The British car industry will face new barriers exporting to Europe even if a UK-EU trade agreement is agreed later this year, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator has admitted.

In a letter to the auto industry, David Frost conceded that he had failed to convince Brussels to take a more flexible approach when it came to assessing how cars manufactured using non-EU parts could qualify for zero-tariff access to the bloc under a trade deal. 

The UK has been pushing during trade negotiations for manufacturers to be able to count, or “cumulate” Turkish, Japanese or other non-EU inputs as “local” for the purposes of exporting under the agreement but Brussels has rejected the request.

Under standard EU trade rules, a vehicle must typically be 45 per cent “locally made” in order to qualify for zero-tariff access to the bloc.

The letter raises fears in the industry that a lopsided trade

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