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A clog in the works: Dutch firms warned off UK goods

BRITISH jobs could be at risk with European companies warned not to use UK components ahead of Brexit.

The Netherlands has told its manufacturers using too many British parts could soon leave their goods falling foul of EU rules of origin, according to Sky News.

Products typically have to have 55 per cent of their content made in EU countries to be exempt from EU tariffs, but the Dutch government said UK parts will not count after the withdrawal date.

‘Brexit will have consequences for exports outside the EU,’ the guidance warns. ‘After Brexit, parts made in the UK no longer count towards this minimum production in the EU.’

The EU has also updated its own technical guidance for dealing with Britain after Brexit in March next year, warning manufacturers: ‘As of withdrawal date, the UK becomes a third country. UK inputs are considered “non-originating”.’

Sky News said a leading car industry executive told it that not using UK parts for EU exports would be a ‘catastrophe’ for the British industry. ‘The hard Brexiteers have built a bomb under the UK automotive industry and the EU has lit it,’ added another.

The UK exported 21.7million auto parts and components — valued at nearly £4billion — to the EU last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. That is equal to 68.3 per cent of UK parts and accessory exports.

Andrew Varga, of Seetru, which makes safety valves in Bristol, said customers have been reluctant to use British parts since last summer. ‘There was an “oh my god moment” last August,’ he said. ‘Our customers don’t have the infrastructure to manage UK certificates of origin.’

The Department for Exiting the EU insisted the advice would only be necessary in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.