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After the drama of last week’s lost votes, the politics this week was around a vote that never was as the Government pulled its plans to put the Withdrawal Agreement to the House of Commons. Since the referendum the MTA has consistently favoured an outcome to the process that enables our members to have as full access to the single market as possible. This entails no tariffs, frictionless movement of goods and people with the EU and regulatory alignment so as to minimise non‐tariff barriers. We have also been clear that a ‘No Deal’ cliff edge would be a serious problem with the resulting uncertainty likely to cause both a reduction of investment and a crisis of economic confidence.

The contents of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration that are on the table shows that the Government has come a long way towards a more business friendly position and have much to commend them, especially in comparison to a ‘No Deal’ alternative. They put trade in goods at the heart of any future relationship and crucially the Withdrawal Agreement secures a transition period, essential to enable both sides to negotiate a future status for which businesses can plan with confidence.

Our industry needs a future relationship which delivers us access to the single market on terms that are as similar as possible to the ones we enjoy today. Over the last two years the MTA has not prescribed any particular course of action because the political situation has been so fluid. It remains so. We are not asking MPs to vote one way or another, but we are asking them to prioritise the needs of manufacturing businesses in their constituencies, crucial to the future wellbeing of the economy, who need an outcome which enables the strengthening of partnerships and supply chains that exist now and which, if disrupted, cannot be replaced easily, if at all.

So, as the situation continues to develop, we are asking MP’s to support an outcome which delivers the as full access to the Single Market as is achievable and to avoid the potential danger of a chaotic and damaging ‘No Deal’. Some of the dangers that ‘No Deal’ would pose to the wider economy are set out in this short paper from the CBI.