With A New Year Came A New Deal, And Many Woes for the UK
2020 ended with a roar, as factories pushed out what they could before December 31rd, which marked both the end of the year that everyone wanted to escape and the conclusion of the Brexit implementation period.
On December 24th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a last-minute deal with the European Union. Effective as of 23:00 GMT on December 31rd, the agreement includes new regulations for how the two nations live and work together.
Although having an agreement in place squelched the fear of the cost of goods rising, this does not eliminate the possibility of tariffs being introduced in the future. None the less, this is great news considering the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner. The Department of International Trade reports that in 2018, 49% of the UK’s total trades were with the EU.
However, things aren’t all rosy, as the UK will no longer be following EU’s rules until a deal is reached, any pre-existing EU agreements that were not rolled over into 2021 will run under World Trade Organization terms. UK businesses will now need to comply with a different set of regulations for each individual country. The lack of harmonious product standards may complicate trades, requiring more checks such as customs declarations and safety checks, creating even more barriers to doing business with the UK.
And of course, with changing requirements comes the risk of delays as shipments arrive at ports lacking the necessary documentation. In fact, the increased bureaucracy has already started to discourage firms from doing business with the UK.
From the , Bicycle part firm Dutch Bike Bits said from now on it would ship to every country in the world except the UK. "We are forced by British policy to stop dealing with British customers," it said on its website. Another firm, Belgium-based Beer On Web, said it was now shunning the UK "due to the new Brexit measures".
At the same time, international shipping companies including Federal Express and TNT have said they are levying additional charges on shipments between the UK and the EU.
Here are some of the key points from the 1200 page long agreement:
- Some UK products may no longer be exported due to strict EU laws on animal products, such as uncooked meats must be frozen to -18C.
- New deals have been agreed with Mexico and Canada and are scheduled to start in “early 2021.”
- Although the most significant deals are done, trade talks are ongoing with another six countries, including the US, Australia and New Zealand.
- The UK signed an “economic partnership agreement” in , marking the first trade deal made outside of the EU deal. However, in 2019 Japan represented only 2% (£31.6bn) of the UK's total trade.
- Service businesses such as accounting and architecture firms will face some new restrictions and will no longer hold an automatic right of access to the EU markets.
- Professionals such as doctors and architects will no longer receive automatic recognition of qualifications. Thusly, this will also make it more difficult for those who gain qualifications in the UK to sell their services in the EU. However, both parties have committed to continue talks on how they may be able to improve access for the service sector.
Canoo Awards Manufacturing Contract to VDL Nedcar
Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans that will ensure the company manages to deliver on its promise to consumers of production and delivery of vehicles in Q4, 2022.
During the company’s first Investor Relations Day, Chairman & CEO of Canoo, Tony Aquila, named VDL Nedcar as its contract manufacturing partner. VDL Nedcar, which I’m sure many of you will already have heard of, is the only independent Vehicle Contract Manufacturer in the Netherlands and has enjoyed fifty years of growth under owners, including Mitsubishi Motors and Volvo cars. According to the report, Nedcar will manufacture the Lifestyle Vehicle for the United States and European Union markets, while Canoo builds a US-based mega micro-factory.
"We conducted an exhaustive search, invested significant amounts of time and resources that span the globe, in our search for our Phase 1 contract manufacturer. VDL Nedcar is the right partner," said Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, Inc. "They are the top trusted European manufacturer building high-quality products for leading OEMs, and they significantly outcompeted the other contenders. VDL is also independently owned by the van der Leegte family of entrepreneurs - which aligns with our commitment to support businesses that form the backbone of communities. This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Groep of companies. Our investment will help us scale quickly and fulfil our mission to bring affordable, purpose-built EVs to Everyone."
Canoo and VDL have already gotten to work on vehicle manufacturability and production planning so that Canoo can successfully lay the groundwork for its upcoming US manufacturing operations expansion, which will be completed in Oklahoma in 2022. The Nedcar facility currently expected to produce around 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022, with an additional 15000 targeted for the following year.
"Canoo's bold approach to designing and building electric vehicles makes them an ideal partner as we work together to shape the future of mobility," said John van Soerland, CEO of VDL Nedcar. "This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena."
Currently, Canoo is entering its GAMMA phase of development and is on track to start production soon. The company intends and expects to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle in Q4 2022, closely followed by the Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle and Pickup Truck.
Watch this space.