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Free Trade Agreements: UK Car Manufacturers

Volume 677: debated on Thursday 18 June 2020

The automotive industry will see more change in the next 10 years than it is seen in the past 100. That is why we are investing so heavily in research and development to ensure that the UK industry can be a global leader in clean transport. Lowering trade barriers is an essential step in attracting further investment and allowing the industry to thrive at a time of unprecedented change.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association say that a UK-Japan agreement would greatly benefit economic prosperity in the UK and Japan. What opportunities for the sector does the Minister see in future FTAs that would help businesses such as Ford UK, based in Basildon?

My hon. Friend and the SMMT are both right. Turkey—as well as Japan—is important, not least to Ford. We prize our trading relationship with Turkey and recognise how important Turkish supply chains are to our automotive manufacturers, including Ford of Britain. I am pleased to say that UK and Turkish officials are working hard to ensure that trading arrangements transition into a bilateral agreement at the end of the implementation period, and I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting, unlike the right hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry), issues that will help prosperity, jobs and businesses in this country instead of posturing and posing for the benefit of the hard left.