German industry association warns of “very hard Brexit”

German industry association warns of “very hard Brexit”

05/10/17

Melanie Ullrich, Business and Policy Programme Manager

“The British government is lacking a clear concept despite talking a lot,” said Joachim Lang, Managing Director of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Following UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Germany’s biggest business association with more than 100,000 member companies urged German companies in Britain and Northern Ireland to “now make provisions for the serious case of a very hard exit. Anything else would be naive.”

The UK and Germany are important partners for one another, in terms of both trade and investment. Germany is the UK’s most important goods trading partner, ahead of the US. The UK ranks fifth among Germany’s trading partners but is its third most important export market. Germany traditionally records a surplus in bilateral trade, with German exports worth EUR 86 billion and German imports EUR 36 billion in 2016. More than 2,500 German companies with branches in the UK employ a total of around 420,000 workers. This means that German companies employ more than one per cent of the UK’s total workforce.