Brexit on the agenda at manufacturers organisation conference

Jill Rutter gives the keynote speech at the EEF conference
Jill Rutter gives the keynote speech at the EEF conference

EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation, hosted a major conference to tackle key concerns over Brexit.

Making Brexit Work – Preparing Manufacturers for Brexit, brought together 100 North West business and manufacturing leaders and Westminster policy experts, who identified key Brexit concerns and opportunities.

It was set up in response to EEF members’ calls for greater clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations.

EEF are playing a leading role in helping business prepare for this major change.

Alongside the roadshow programme, EEF has recently launched an online Brexit toolkit providing a detailed and easy to use resource for businesses who import and export goods, whatever sector they work in.

A keynote speech at the event was provided by Jill Rutter, from the Institute for Government, a think tank working to make government policy more effective.

Underlining the event’s importance, EEF research into Brexit priorities for manufacturers in the North West, undertaken in partnership with ComRes and published in September, found that 75 per cent of North West manufacturers say they are not prepared for a no-deal Brexit and half (49 per cent) do not plan on preparing for ‘no deal’.

In terms of key priorities, 83 per cent say that it is important that the Brexit negotiations ensure there are no tariffs on EU goods and 81 per cent say the same of ensuring full access to the single market.

Jill Rutter, said: “Manufacturers across this region seek clarity on Brexit as the Government enters into final negotiations. Manchester has a rich history of manufacturing and the industry must make preparations for all outcomes in the coming weeks and months."

Hilary Douglas, Head of Corporate Affairs, EEF, said: “Manufacturers remain desperate for clarity as we reach a pivotal point in Brexit negotiations, and the high levels of interest in today’s event and our research into the North West’s views on Brexit underlines this. Getting Brexit right for manufacturers is not only critical for the sector, but also for the UK economy."