One of the world’s largest carmakers has warned it may have to close UK factories if the government does not renegotiate the Brexit deal.
Stellantis, which owns Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat, had committed to making electric cars in the UK, but says that is under threat.
It warned it could face tariffs of 10% on exports to the EU due to rules on where parts are sourced from.
In response to the comments UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said he believed in Brexit.
“I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit,” the prime minister told reporters while travelling to the G7 Summit of world leaders in Japan.
Mr Sunak cited what he called “Brexit benefits” he introduced as chancellor and reforms to retained EU law which he said would save business a billion pounds a year.
He did not directly address concerns made by Stellantis, but a spokesperson said the government was “determined” UK car making would remain competitive.
It is the first time a car firm has openly called for a renegotiation of the terms of the Brexit trade deal, and the BBC understands all major manufacturers in the UK have raised similar concerns with government.
Stellantis warned that if the cost of electric vehicle manufacturing in the UK “becomes uncompetitive and unsustainable, operations will close”.
The car giant called on ministers to come to an agreement with the EU to maintain the status quo until 2027, with a review of arrangements for manufacturing parts in Serbia and Morocco.