‘Catastrophic’ Brexit scenario for the UK Auto Industry looms larger

The United Kingdom’s auto industry has shifted its tone from quiet resignation to angry bellowing as the government once again failed to gain a consensus within Parliament on its future relationship with the EU.

Automakers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and BMW have long opposed Brexit because it isolates the UK from its biggest trading partner but held out hope that a negotiated settlement would keep in place many of the benefits of the current trading partnership.

However, after Parliament voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal for an orderly separation last week, automakers are now bracing for their most feared outcome: leaving the EU on March 29 with no deal at all.

“I’ve done what any sane person would do: I’ve assumed the worst,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit last week. “I’ve assumed that we’ll crash out of Europe.”