With Theresa May expected to appoint a ‘No Deal minister’ as part of her cabinet reshuffle, Molly has again warned of the hugely damaging effects on South West businesses of crashing out of the single market and customs union. She points to new evidence which reveals South Somerset, mid Devon and Dorset are areas of the South West with the highest levels of manufacturing and therefore most vulnerable to any tariffs that would be imposed if the UK leaves the single market or crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Meanwhile, more than 130,000 UK firms face upfront VAT charges on goods imported from the EU post-Brexit, unless the UK remains in the customs union or negotiates to remain in the EU-VAT area.

Molly, who is a member of the Economics committee in the European Parliament and has worked on European VAT legislation, said:

“The expected appointment today of the ‘minister for No Deal’ shows the government is seriously considering this destructive course of action. Crashing out of the EU and turning our backs on the most successful trading bloc we are part of would be disastrous for businesses in the South West, especially those areas with high levels of manufacturing such as South Somerset, mid Devon and parts of Dorset. Threatening access to the single market and the imposition of extra tariffs and barriers through leaving the customs union reveal a Tory Party that has morphed from the ‘party of business’ into the party of ideological Brextremists.

“The unified VAT system across the single market is an excellent example of reducing burdensome red tape and tax fraud. The additional costs for business and destructive impact on their cash flow of a UK only VAT system is one of many ways that leaving the single market will devastate businesses in the South West.”

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