1. ITV Report

Aston Martin may put brakes on UK production over 'no deal' Brexit

Credit: PA

Aston Martin has warned it could be forced to halt production of its luxury cars if the UK is unable to secure a deal over Brexit.

The firm's chief financial officer Mark Wilson said the impact of leaving the EU without a trade agreement would be 'semi-catastrophic'.

The firm has plants in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, Gaydon and Warwickshire.

In a tweet, Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates responded:

As we have repeatedly said, no deal would be a disastrous outcome for Wales’ economy, these comments only serve to reinforce this.

– Ken Skates AM

New cars built in the UK are tested by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), whose approval means they can be sold across the EU.

But manufacturers are warning that this set-up will cease if Brexit happens without a deal.

Mr Wilson told the Commons' Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that Aston Martin faces 'quite a stark picture' if it needs to obtain certification elsewhere because VCA type-approval is not accepted by the EU.

We need to make sure that that type-approval carries over, it has validity and it has recognition and it has the equivalence that it has today.

Otherwise, there are significant costs involved for us. Not only in resourcing to another type-approval ... but also the semi-catastrophic effect of having to stop production because we only produce cars in the UK.

– Aston Martin, Mark Wilson

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told the committee that car makers may struggle if they are forced to obtain type-approval elsewhere in order to continue selling in the EU.

When you reapply under this new authority, you have to meet all the changes to regulation that have evolved from when you first got that vehicle certification.

It may be that regulation has changed to such an extent that you could not pass that regulatory framework.

– Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes

Mr Hawes warned that UK motorists could be charged an extra £1,500 for new cars imported from the EU if 10% tariffs are imposed.

An extreme Brexit risks bringing parts of our thriving car industry to a standstill.

People's jobs are on the line, but still the hard Brexiteers are peddling the fantasy that we could crash out of Europe with no deal.

– Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman, Tom Brake