The second EURIS Summit took place recently, with sessions split between the House of Lords and the iconic Shard building.
As a key member of EURIS, the BPMA was again represented at the event by its President, Duncan Lewis and its Director and CEO, Steve Schofield. The Summit helped to raise the political profile of EURIS further and was attended by two Ministers – Robin Walker MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DExEU) and Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS).
The event was attended by a significant number of European counterparts as well as key industry and political stakeholders.
The primary message from the event is that the UK’s industrial product supply sector (which is worth £148 Billion and employs some 1.1 million people) desperately wants a business-friendly Brexit. Maintaining close regulatory alignment, along with the barrier-free trade for intermediary products and components with the EU, is seen to be essential if the UK is to retain any measure of global competitiveness.
The Summit highlighted the results of an industry-wide survey into the impact of a no-deal exit from the European Union, conducted by the University of Sussex-based UKTPO and EURIS.
Key survey findings include:
EU Regulation enables industry to remain competitive in a global market with 83% of survey respondents supporting continued regulatory alignment with the EU
Imports account for over half of total costs for 44% of companies. Any increase in barriers to trade will have a significant impact on the UK’s global competitiveness, while our competitive advantage in non-EU markets depends on the UK having barrier free-trade for intermediary products and components with the EU.
The longer the uncertainty over the Brexit process continues, the more long-lasting damage will be incurred by our businesses. EU 27-member states have been warned to prepare for the worst and review their supply chains. Changing suppliers is a significant decision, and one very rarely reversed. Sales are already being lost as some EU 27 companies start to select non-UK suppliers and one-third of survey respondents are thinking about or have already changed suppliers.
EURIS Sector Panel
Following the Summit, EURIS has been asked by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to recruit a small number of member companies for a EURIS Sector Panel/Brexit Consultation Group.
The Panel will provide a forum for strategic engagement between government and industry in respect of Electronics, Electrical Equipment and Machinery for the future economic partnership between the UK and the EU. The first meeting of this group took place on 18th September and was attended by officials from across BEIS, HMRC and DExEU.