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Dr Andreas Kokkinis from Warwick Law School comments on the Airbus warning from a legal and regulatory perspective

Dr Andreas Kokkinis from Warwick Law School comments on the Airbus warning from a legal and regulatory perspective:-

‘‘The announcement made today by Airbus confirms what experts have been warning the public about for over two years. An exit from the Single Market and Customs Union will disrupt the existing supply chains of major UK manufacturing firms, as these tend to be highly integrated across several EU Member States. UK manufacturing has developed in the lines of production of specialised parts and engines which – until now – can flow seamlessly to other EU Member States where the final product is assembled.

"A no-deal Brexit would lead to three distinct obstacles being put in the way of these businesses:

1. Tariffs would be imposed when such goods are exported from the UK to any EU Member States, thus making the UK-made parts more expensive for EU firms and therefore less competitive.

2. Customs checks would be necessary before the goods are allowed to enter any other EU Member State which would cause further costs for exporting and importing firms and delays.

3. If the UK’s legal and regulatory framework in time diverges from the EU’s, UK-made goods may be prevented from entering into the EU market altogether, due to lack of compliance with the EU legal and regulatory framework.

"If this happens, many of the successful British manufacturing firms will simply lose their client base and face tremendous difficulties. Most of them will inevitably go out of business leaving their employees and the employees of the smaller firms that supply materials and services to them without a job. This would affect Wales, the North of England and the Midlands in particular, whose local economics would be severely harmed.

“The current strategy of the Government is clearly not successful as the EU negotiators have explicitly rejected – again and again – its plans for a customs partnership. The recent passing of the Brexit Bill without granting strong powers to the House of Commons to give directions to the Government in case no deal is reached until January 2019 makes the risk of a no-deal Brexit ever more imminent. It is time for all political parties and individual members of Parliament to take a clear and honest position on this matter and to answer the following question: if it comes to a stark choice between ‘regaining control of our laws, money and borders’, as the PM has put it, and preserving the success of the UK economy, which one will they prioritise?’’

  • Dr Kokkinis is series editor of the GLOBE Policy Brief Series, launched on 5 February 2018. The first three papers explore other aspects of Brexit.

22 June 2018


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