David Davis said on Monday 11 December that Brexit will be a ‘calm and orderly’ process, at a round-table discussion with the UK’s largest car manufacturers. The discussion was hosted in London by the SMMT, the trade association for the UK motor industry. It was attended by executives from several car makers such as JLR, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Aston Martin and BMW and executives of automotive related companies such as JCB, Caterpillar and GKN. Should Britain fail to complete a deal in the two year period between triggering Article 50 and formally exiting the EU, Britain would most likely automatically revert to being subject to World Trade Organisation rules. That could mean a tariff of as much as 10% put on cars imported into the UK from Europe. In November, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the price of European made cars could increase by as much as £1,500 ($1,871) unless a favourable trade deal is worked out post-Brexit. The Telegraph newspaper reported that SMMT president Gareth Jones made the prediction at the SMMT annual dinner, forecasting a potential cost to the industry of £4.5 billion. It is believed that Mr. Davis did not however make any firm promises or commitments to the car industry at today’s round table discussion. According to the Financial Times, one of the executives who attended the meeting said the politicians were “very non-committal — they were in listening mode”.
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