Make UK, The Manufacturers’ Organisation, held an event in Manchester today (23 October 2019) – eight days before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU – on ‘Preparing Manufacturers for Brexit: Customs and Immigration’.
The event, following as similar conference in London on 21 October, involved the UK’s leading customs and migration experts providing the latest insight and practical guidance on Brexit directly to British manufacturers.
The conference comes at a time when Make UK members require urgent clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations, particularly in the context of a potential no-deal Brexit. A recent poll conducted by Make UK found that, in the past two years, almost two-thirds of companies in the manufacturing sector have seen their profit margins suffer as a result of Brexit. Further to this, half of those surveyed noted that EU customer and supplier attitudes towards their businesses had worsened.
More than 100 senior leaders from the manufacturing industry attended the event, where they were provided with practical knowledge on likely new rules on export and import and personnel requirements, in addition to receiving expert advice to prepare them in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Key customs topics covered included overviews of the likely new import and export processes, and explanations of trader responsibilities, and tariff classifications and measures. The personnel requirements session covered all the key information required for employing EU citizens.
Keynote speakers at the conference included Keith Robe, Managing Director at Cusdec and Tim Thomas, Director of Labour Market & Skills Policy at Make UK.
Hilary Douglas, Head of Corporate Affairs at Make UK comments: “With just over a week until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, it is vital for jobs and the economy in the North West that manufacturers do all that they can to prepare for every eventuality. To this end, today’s workshops have focused on ensuring that manufacturing leaders in the region have the practical knowledge to ensure that export and imports remain as frictionless as possible. Hearing from two of the UK’s leading experts on customs and migration, delegates were also supported to identify the key possible cost saving measures that can enable manufacturers to make the most of post-Brexit opportunities.”