World Economy

German Firms Warn UK Over EU Referendum

German Firms Warn UK Over EU ReferendumGerman Firms Warn UK Over EU Referendum

Germany’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry has warned that a UK exit from the European Union (EU) would be “disastrous” for Britain and Germany.

Volker Treier, deputy chief executive of the organization, told the BBC that German business is “astonished” that the UK is planning a referendum over its EU membership.

Prime Minister David Cameron is due to meet Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday. Treier said the German Chancellor should not offer concessions. He is concerned that if the UK receives concessions then other nations might also demand negotiations over their terms of membership. “We are really astonished about this referendum,” he said.

The organization estimates that German companies employ nearly 400,000 people in the UK. Treier said many of those companies were unsettled by the planned referendum.

If the UK were to leave the EU, he warned that a significant number of German firms would contemplate reducing their investment in Britain.

EU nationals who have made the UK their home should have the right to vote in the referendum on whether to sever ties with Brussels, Scottish Labor leadership candidate Kezia Dugdale is scheduled to tell an audience in Glasgow soon. Dugdale will state that she strongly believes it would be “unfair” to exclude EU citizens from such a fundamental decision.

She is expected to claim that last September’s referendum on Scottish independence was enhanced by the participation of around 90,000 EU nationals registered to take part in the ballot. “Put simply, I believe EU nationals who have chosen to live their life here, and make the UK their home, should have the right to vote in a referendum on the future of the country,” according to Dugdale.

The Lothians MSP - the Scottish party’s deputy leader - will set out her position in a keynote speech to the Scottish Fabians later on Saturday, in which she will also argue that Scottish Labor has to be seen as a party with ideas for the future rather than stuck in the past.