EEF changes name to Make UK then delivers a Brexit broadside
20 Feb 2019
Manufacturers’ association the EEF announced a historic change of name – rebranding itself Make UK at its annual National Manufacturing Conference.
Announcing the move , a spokesperson stated: “As British manufacturing transforms, modernises and adapts to this new environment it was time for us to also adopt a modern name designed to reflect the world class innovation undertaken by our member companies across the whole of the country.
“Our sector is changing, so are we.”
CEO Stephen Phipson added that, with the massive inroads of modern technology currently being injected into the sector, “we felt that our name should be clear and say what we do”.
Formed in 1896 as the Engineering Employers’ Federation, the organisation – which today represents some 20,000 UK companies – shortened its name to the EEF in 2003.
Adoption of its latest name and logo follows a period in which the organisation has taken an increasingly vocal stance on Brexit and the need to avoid a no-deal scenario.
At its 2019 conference at London’s QEll Centre, the group’s leadership further raised pressure on the Government by focusing on its survey – published today in association with YouGov – that warns of the dire effect of a lack of agreement.
During the pre-conference dinner, Make UK chair Dame Judith Hackitt was damning in her criticism of parliamentarians.
“I am saddened by the way that some of our politicians have put selfish political ideology ahead of the national interest and people’s livelihoods and left us facing the catastrophic prospect of leaving the EU next month with no deal,” she said.
“This is not a prospect that our sector can counter. As our survey published this morning with YouGov shows, companies have already taken action to move production overseas and the prospect of leaving with no deal means the UK will be a far less attractive location for manufacturing in the future.
“The clock has almost run down and it is now essential that the pantomime in Parliament ends and politicians of all persuasion come together to agree a deal that protects the future of manufacturing and people’s jobs right across the UK.”
The clock has almost run down and it is now essential that the pantomime in Parliament ends
Judith Hackitt, chair, Make UK
The new survey reveals that nearly 50% of respondents think no deal will make Britain a less attractive place to do business – almost twice the number who think iit would make the country more attractive.
“Let me be clear for the press and for those hard brexiteers who accuse us of scaremongering. This is very real and very serious. The ninth largest manufacturing economy in the world needs to be assured that our contribution to UK prosperity is recognised and valued,” said Hackitt.
The feeling is most marked amongst larger firms – nearly 60% think the effect will be negative, compared with 48% of medium sized and 43% of small firms.
In addition, the EU is the most common destination for those who have offshored production since the EU referendum. Half those who have adjusted supply chains say they have faced increased costs.
The survey polled 429 firms between 28 January and 5 February 2019.