Unsurprisingly, they would prefer a soft Brexit: remaining in the single market and retaining essential skilled EU workers.
The position paper was worked up by a group of British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) council members and approved by members at the annual general meeting. The paper was then circulated to MPs, civil servants and government departments. According to the association it has received a positive response.
The BPMA is pro-single market, but doesn’t support membership in the Customs Union without being a part of the single-market. If the worst happened, they would favour the flexibility to develop new international trade deals, adding: “The British Government may give a new name to a new agreement with the European Union; however it is imperative that there are no barriers to trade in either direction.”
According to the press release, 80% of the pump industry employs EU nationals at every level. A skills shortage is a distinct possibility post-Brexit. They would like to retain these employees. The association also emphasised the importance of universities maintaining their ability to admit foreign students, proposing a visa for the period of study and two-years after graduation.
“We believe that a controlled movement of people with a certain level of skills will continue to be a benefit to our sector and the UK in general.”
To facilitate continued trade with the EU after Brexit, the pump manufacturers want to see the government retain the Technical File in the UK and UK Notified bodies—the things that are needed for products to get the CE mark that is required to export to the EU.
Pumps account £500 million in exports to the EU annually according to BPMA figures. The association BPMA includes 85% of pump manufacturers.