Wragge automotive consultant discusses topic of EU membership

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co has announced the appointment of business and automotive expert David Bailey as a consultant to the firm’s automotive sector group — one of the law firm’s priority sectors. This month, Bailey discusses the important topic of European Union (EU) membership — a subject that will become even more important as US/EU free-trade talks progress.

Bailey said: ‘The impact of membership on the UK’s auto industry was explored recently in a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and KPMG. It found some big benefits for the UK’s auto industry from staying in the EU, particularly in relation to investment, growth and job creation.

‘The report stresses that EU membership boosts both the attractiveness of the UK as a place to invest and the competitiveness of the domestic automotive industry. Not surprisingly, it notes that access to the single market is fundamental to UK auto manufacturing, thereby supporting sales and facilitating supply chain growth. It also adds that EU bargaining power in trade negotiations is critical to improving access to international growth markets, thus helping major exporters such as Jaguar Land Rover.

‘A second argument centres on regulations and standards. The report highlights that the UK needs a powerful voice at EU level to make sure the specific needs of the UK’s auto industry are considered.’