| 12:36 AM EST

SMMT: “Hard” Brexit May Kill U.K. Auto Industry

A British exit from the European Union that doesn’t include a trade deal will jeopardize the future of the U.K.’s auto industry, warns the Society of Motor and Manufacturers and Traders.
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A British exit from the European Union that doesn’t include a trade deal will jeopardize the future of the U.K.’s auto industry, warns the Society of Motor and Manufacturers and Traders.

SMMT estimates that carmakers in Britain have already spent £500 million ($638 million) on preparing for Brexit, including £170 million ($217 million) since June.

The trade group says one-third of car companies in the U.K. have reduced their workforce, and 77% report blame Brexit for a negative impact on their business. A “hard” exit will cost the industry £50,000 ($64,000) per minute, SMMT says.

Many carmakers in the U.K. plan to shut down operations for several days around Oct. 31, the current Brexit deadline, in anticipation of supply chain disruptions, regardless of whether Britain secures a new trade deal with the EU.

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