UK Manufacturing and Brexit



The debate about the type of Brexit deal the UK should negotiate with the EU is of vital interest to many UK manufacturers.

The UK is currently the 9th largest industrial nation in the world and its strength is underpinned by its trading relationship with the EU:  




  • 52% of total manufactured exports by value went to the EU in the 12 months to April 2016
  • Manufacturing accounts for a whopping 45% of all UK exports.


The sector’s trading relationship with the EU is tightly interwoven, making complex pan-European supply chains commonplace. At the same time, manufacturers rely on skilled workers – frequently from the EU – to plug the UK’s longstanding and serious skills gap and enable productivity, innovation and growth.

Manufacturers have a vested interest in ensuring the Government negotiates a deal that supports their trade and growth ambitions and allows our sector to play a significant role in making post-Brexit Britain a success.

In a series of Brexit briefings looking at the impact of leaving the EU, EEF makes a number of recommendations designed to help businesses manage the UK’s exit from the single market and the likely changes in trade and immigration rules.


Read our series of Brexit briefings papers:


Loss of access to both the single market and the customs union would condemn the manufacturing sector to a painful and costly Brexit. Download the briefing to find out why...





According to the UK statistics authority, UK manufacturers currently employ 300,000 EU citizens, representing about 10% of the workforce. Employers in manufacturing companies need ongoing access to workers with higher level and other technical skills from the EU and worldwide to maintain their ability to invest, grow and train in Britain. Download the briefing to find out more...




Brexit-buttonWith the UK entering its formal negotiations to leave the EU, EEF sets out here what the key components of a new migration model should be. Download the briefing.






Rules-of-OriginRules of Origin are the criteria used to determine the economic nationality of a product, as opposed to the geographic nationality of a product. They are important in international trade because of the import duties (i.e. tariffs) and restrictions applied. After leaving the EU, both the EU and UK will have to agree a new set of rules covering the origin of the products traded between them. Find out more.



If you have any questions or concerns about what Brexit means for you and your business, or if you would like to share your views, email



Further reading

Blogs and Media Releases

intelligencebriefingspotlight EEF Westminster Weekly

Sign up to receive the EEF Westminster Weekly - our regular round up of campaigning activities

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Brexit-trade-paper Webinar: Managing the migration exit from Brexit

As more and more EU workers leave the UK, and fewer choose to come, manufacturers must act now to prevent a skills meltdown.

Register now>
Conference-spotlight EEF National Manufacturing Conference

Join over 800 of the UK’s most influential leaders to discuss the hottest topics in industry on 20 February 2018.

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