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How a Brexit stitch-up left Britain’s car industry on the brink

However, he says that creating a UK processing industry could help allay this concern.

Many of the minerals used in electric cars come from Australia and Chile, but that is not necessarily a problem as long as value is added by refining and processing them in Britain.

Meanwhile, lithium mining sites in the UK could produce much of the supply needed for one of the most important elements in batteries. The UK also has access to some of the world’s largest wind farms, cheap land in the North East, and skilled workers to refine the metal and other components.

The industry wants a plan where Britain can show that it is laying the groundwork for building a supply chain for electric cars.

Showing Brussels that the UK is onboard with creating a European supply chain and wants to ease China’s grip on the industry will probably grease negotiations.

The EU is also likely to be nervous about the sheer size of the subsidies the US has shown it is willing to unleash for green industries, committing hundreds of billions of dollars as part of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

“There’s always going to be a fear now in the EU, that the US will act in its own best interests, and to the possible detriment of the EU,” says Winter.

This could mean that the EU will want friendlier ties with the UK to work together, pooling investing power.

Britain can offer some lithium reserves and its huge potential for offshore wind.

But progress so far does not bode well, Winter adds, recalling a conversation about critical minerals with a Parliamentary committee three years ago.

“I said, this is now an urgent, seven-year challenge,” he says.

“And basically, we haven’t done anything in real terms. I think that the progress has really been incredibly disappointing.”

A hint of rosier news came from the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. The UK is attempting to help woo Jaguar Land Rover’s owner Tata in placing a battery plant in the UK to supply the car maker. 

He told the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual conference that  “we need to have battery making capacity in the UK”.

Mr Hunt said: “All I would say is, watch this space, because we are very focused on making sure the UK gets that EV manufacturing capacity.”

If Britain’s carmakers are to avoid disaster, that focus needs to generate results – fast.

This article was originally published by a www.telegraph.co.uk . Read the Original article here. .

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