Britain's business leaders are getting increasingly nervous about the outcome of Brexit talks with warnings of industrial and economic stagnation.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned the government of the dangers a poor deal, or no deal, would pose the automotive industry.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT suggested the Brexit talks should begin with setting up a transitional deal to ensure that the risk associated with market uncertainty is kept to a minimum.
He said in a speech on Monday night to the trade body's annual conference: This uncertainty cannot be allowed to drag on – and drag British industry down with it."
He added: "We need a clear interim arrangement – an arrangement enabling ‘business as usual’ from day one.”
Tariffs will be costly
Britain's automotive industry is one of the country's largest manufacturing sectors, responsible for about £60bn in annual exports.
The SMMT estimates that without a trade deal, export tariffs and other foreign trade charges could cost the industry up to £2.7bn a year.
Hawes recommended that the government seek an interim deal that keeps the UK in the single market and customs union until the negotiations are complete.
Among the foreign motor manufacturers in Britain, several, including Nissan and Toyota, have said they will commit to a future in the UK.
CBI sees investment on hold
Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned the whole UK economy will suffer from the protracted divorce talks between Britain and the European Union.