LONDON, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- "'No Deal' must be taken off the table or it risk destroying the automotive industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports," the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned Thursday.
SMMT said no-deal divorce would have an immediate and devastating impact on the industry, "halting production, undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage."
"Delays at the border would fundamentally undermine just-in-time manufacturing stopping production," it said, adding that tariffs would add at least 4.5 billion pounds to the industry's costs.
According to the data issued by SMMT, the auto sector employed 856,000 people and contributed 20.2 billion pounds to British economy.
"Since 2010, car production alone has risen by a third, with 80 percent bound for export -- the majority to the EU," the society noted, adding that 2.7 million new cars were traded between the UK and EU each year.
It highlighted that the success relied on free and frictionless trade afforded by the single market and customs union.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said the impact of Brexit "does not compare with the catastrophic consequences of leaving the EU without a deal."
"The just-in-time nature of automotive means the impact of 'no deal' will be felt, not in months or days, but hours," he added.
He strongly called on both government and parliament to have their responsibilities to take no-deal withdrawal option off the table, or "risk destroying this vital UK industry".