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