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Brexit could make UK car sector 'extinct': business lobby

AFP  |  London 

The of Britain's main business lobby today warned that the country's risked "becoming extinct" outside the EU's customs union.

"If we do not have a customs union, there are sectors of manufacturing society in the UK which risk becoming extinct," (CBI) told 4's Today programme.

He highlighted the as being particularly threatened by any deal that did not secure "real frictionless trade" with the post-Brexit.

is under pressure to commit to some kind of customs partnership as she pushes key Brexit legislation through parliament, despite promising that Britain would make a clean break with the EU in order to strike trade deals with the rest of the

The claimed there was "zero evidence" that such deals would provide any economic benefit to Britain.

"There's zero evidence that independent trade deals will provide any economic benefit to the UK that's material. It's a myth," he said.

The uncertainty was also forcing companies to delay investment decisions, he added. "We already know tens of millions, in fact hundreds of millions have been invested by UK pharmaceutical and companies to create continuity post a worse-case Brexit scenario," he said.

"We still haven't got clarity about the future direction, about where we're heading, what will the future relationship with be, at a level of detail that matters for investment." Patrick Minford, from the group, accused the of doing the bidding of "vested interests that oppose the competition and productivity growth that free trade under Brexit will bring".

"Precisely what Brexit will do is remove the EU protectionism and excessive regulation that is holding back our economy," he told the BBC.

"The gains from our potential free trade agreements are well documented. Our calculations put them at 4 percent of GDP," he added.

May yersterday avoided a major blow to her Brexit strategy after lawmakers rejected a plan that would have given parliament a veto on the final deal negotiated with Brussels, but only after reaching a backroom deal with potential rebels.

She faces further battles today over how closely Britain stays aligned with the EU's after leaving.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 15:30 IST