UPDATED: Stellantis says UK needs to change Brexit deal; Starmer would seek ‘improved’ Brexit deal

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British Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has told Sky News the UK needs an “improved” Brexit deal with the EU after Vauxhall’s parent company warned the future of UK car plants were at risk.

The Labour leader used an interview with Ian King Live to say that his party would seek “a better deal than the one that we’ve got’ to bolster the country’s trading relationship with the bloc.

He was speaking after it emerged that Stellantis, which also has Citroen, Fiat and Peugeot among its stable of brands, used a submission to a parliamentary committee’s inquiry on electric vehicle (EV) production to warn it was no longer able to meet Brexit trade rules on where parts are sourced.

Stellantis, one of the world’s biggest automakers, has said that UK needs to renegotiate parts of its Brexit deal or risk losing parts of its car industry, the BBC reported.

Stellantis, whose brands include Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat, had committed to making electric vehicles in the UK but said it was no longer able to meet Brexit trade rules on where parts are sourced, the report said.

The carmaker urged the government to reach an agreement with the European Union about keeping the current rules till 2027, or else “trade between the UK and EU would be subject to 10% tariffs,” BBC quoted Stellantis as saying.

Stellantis said its UK investments were based on meeting the strict terms of the post-Brexit free trade deal, citing a submission to a Commons inquiry into electric car production, said the report without mentioning when the statements were made.

Stellantis did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

Under the trade deal, starting 2024, 45% of the value of EVs should originate in the EU or UK to qualify for trade without tariffs, the BBC said.

Stellantis’ submission says that uncompetitive electric vehicle costs will mean “manufacturers will not continue to invest” and will “relocate manufacturing operations outside of the UK”, the report said.

Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said earlier in the year that Britain’s car industry would be “in trouble” without UK-made batteries, Reuters had reported.

Photo by Sandro Cenni on Unsplash

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