President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Paul Drechsler, warned that parts of Britain’s car industry could go “extinct” if the UK withdraws from the EU customs union, the City A.M. newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Talking on the BBC’s today show, he said "If we do not have a customs union, there are sectors of manufacturing society in the UK which risk becoming extinct."
Mr. Drechsler – who will retire from his position as the CBI’s chief next week – also attacked the UK government’s Brexit strategy, describing it as a “tidal wave of ideology” and insisted that there is “zero evidence” that suggests independent bilateral trade deals between Britain will benefit the economy.
"We still haven't got clarity about the future direction, about where we're heading, what will the future relationship with Europe be, at a level of detail that matters for investment,” he added.
The CBI represents almost 200,000 businesses and is a major donor to the ruling Conservative Party.
A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU) later said they are looking to deliver “a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK” and will “soon” release a white paper outlining their plans for Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the bloc.
Responding to the CBI president’s comments, a spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover said they are still looking to invest in their UK operations and production facilities, insisting the company has a “very bright future.”