"They [voters] would like to send a strong signal to Brussels and the elephant politics game" - FKG CEO Fredrik Sidahl

"They [voters] would like to send a strong signal to Brussels and the 'elephant politics' game" - FKG CEO Fredrik Sidahl

Scandinavian supplier association, FKG says the UK's shock vote last week (23 June) to exit the European Union (EU)  should not trigger tariff impositions as the impact from the decision continues to reverberate around the Continent. 

Britain's close plebiscite saw 52% of the UK electorate opt to leave the 28-strong Brussels club, although many forecast this will take at least two years of intense negotiations as both sides seek to mitigate any economic fallout.

Gothenburg-based FKG notes the ballot in favour of the UK's departure from the EU is the result of citizens wanting to send a firm signal to Brussels in the teeth of a host of economic and migratory pressures, which have seen unprecedented waves of people crossing open borders.

The component producer body has significant business with Britain through relationships with manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, but it is echoing calls by German automotive and supplier organisation, VDA, in asking for no imposition of trade barriers as a consequence of the vote.

"I think it is a disaster," FKG CEO, Fredrik Sidahl told just-auto from Gothenburg. "I don't think voters did really want the outcome – they would like to send a strong signal to Brussels and the 'elephant politics' game.

"This is [to] voice some frustration – frustration everywhere about the situation how it is in Europe with migration and discussions about Greece et cetera.

"There [are] a lot of Swedish suppliers which supply to England – JLR as an example – I hope this continues. It will take years until we have a new set-up – nothing dramatic will happen – it is a big signal of frustration."

The Scandinavian supplier chief pointed to a domestic survey indicating there was still 60% support for continued Swedish membership of the EU, although the so-called Brexit vote has already prompted calls from some in other EU States for their own referendums.

Sidahl also expressed similar views to that of VDA president, Matthias Wissmann, who insisted it was in "nobody's interest" to impose customs restrictions between Britain and the EU.

"We should continue as usual for sure – this is important for Europe," added Sidahl. "We have built that as a common union and we should continue. No trade barriers."

The FKG is to attend a meeting in Madrid next week of national associations through the guise of pan-European supplier body, CLEPA, at which the UK's decision to secede from the Union will be a key topic on the agenda.

"One thing is the Stock Market is reacting, down 5.5% in Sweden" noted Sidahl.

The VDA head appealed for calm in the face of undoubted market volatility following Britain's decision to exit – the first time an EU country will have left the 28-strong club in a move which has sent seismic shocks across the Continent.

"Even if many 'experts' are competing to paint the worst possible scenario – now is the time for calmness," added Wissmann.

"Brussels must draw the correct conclusions from the vote. Our common Europe must become more attractive to its members. We need more transparency and genuinely better regulation."