Commenting on Theresa May's speech on Brexit, Stephen Phipson, CEO of EEF, said:
“Manufacturers will welcome many of the points made by the Prime Minister, in particular practical proposals for a customs partnership and the need to maintain common standards and approvals.
“There was also a recognition of the critical importance of integrated supply chains and the need for frictionless trade. Given how long it has taken to get to this stage, however, we still need more detail as to how this will be achieved in the context of the clear red lines of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union.
“Industry is now at the eleventh hour as far as major investment decisions are concerned. The next step will be the transition agreement later this month and it is essential that both the EU and UK Government agree this to avoid any delays. This will give manufacturers a much needed boost to confidence as they plan their investments moving forward.
“The proposals outlined by the Prime Minister today must result in a comprehensive future relationship with the EU which ensures frictionless trade across the continent, allows manufactures to employ and deploy easily across borders, and continues to allow products for multiple markets under the same standards which are mutually recognised.”