The UK’s automotive industry has been one of the ‘star performers’ of the UK economy in recent years – unlike most other manufacturing sectors. Output has increased by 70% since 2010 and there has been over £8bn worth of investment in the industry in the last four years. The industry supports over 800,000 jobs in the UK. The industry is seen as having benefitted from EU membership.
So what might Brexit mean for the UK automotive sector, and in turn for industrial policy in the UK? This inaugural lecture considers short run impacts, before turning to the impact of uncertainty on foreign direct investment inflows and then the nature of a possible trading relationship. Some concluding thoughts highlight the need for a renewed industrial policy to support UK auto and manufacturing, and reflects on the government’s recent Industrial Strategy Green Paper.
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