Brexit: A Negative for UK Manufacturers?

The referendum being held on the 23rd of June will ask whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.


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The lines have been drawn in the sand, campaigning is well under way and the BBC has been in the archives to see what can be learnt from 1975. Across the UK individuals and businesses are wrangling with the issues and what it all means to them. From supermarket shoppers in Inverness to employees of a manufacturer of CNC turning in Sussex, the impact of Brexit on the country’s economic prospects is being queried.

Economists’ View

In a Financial Times’ poll of more than 100 leading UK economists, almost three-quarters believed that Brexit would damage the country’s medium-term outlook.

Many raised concerns about the severe consequences for financial markets and the risk of Britain no longer being chosen as a base of international companies’ European operations. Not one of these economists thought that leaving the EU would enhance UK growth in 2016.


The EU is currently Britain’s biggest trade partner. More than 50% of UK exports go to the EU. Of the top export markets for British companies, four are EU countries and the others are the US and China.

According to a paper from CEEMET, the EU manufacturing association, a British vote to leave the EU would be a lose-lose situation for manufacturers in the UK and across the EU.

CEEMET predicts that Brexit could trigger a downward effect on annual growth in industry of minus 0.5% over 15 years. A figure based purely on the industrial sector, it does not take into account the impact of leaving the EU on the UK financial and wider services sector. CEEMET’s Director General, Uwe Combuchen, states that the analysis confirms their concern about the implications of Brexit not just for Britain but other countries in the EU.

So if a company such as provide CNC turning in Sussex, they have a lot to think about. Can Britain’s manufacturing industry go it alone?

Experts agree that before any firm decisions can be made there are a number of questions that need answering or clarifying first. But are we going to get the answers we need before the 23rd of June?

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