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Ford: Brexit with No Trade Deal Would Be “Catastrophic”

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If the U.K. exits the European Union in March with no trade deal in place, the results would be “catastrophic” for the British auto industry, says Ford Motor Co.

The comment by Chief Financial Office Bob Shanks joins a litany of increasingly blunt warnings by carmakers about the future of their operations in Britain. They worry that a “hard” Brexit would trigger tariffs, disrupt supply chains and challenge the financial viability of manufacturing operations in the country.

On Monday Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s compromise plan that would retain some of the no-tariff benefits of EU membership. She survived a no-confidence vote on Wednesday and is expected to offer a new plan next week.

German auto industry trade group VDA says a no-deal result “would be fatal” for carmakers in the country. BMW warns that the uncertainty has prompted it to prepare for a possible shutdown of its British operations.

PSA Group’s Vauxhall unit says the failure of government to resolve the threat of a “hard” Brexit at this late date is “extremely disappointing.” Jaguar Land Rover urges that Parliament “rule out a no-deal immediately” even as lawmakers struggle to find an acceptable alternative.

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