World Economy

German Business Told to Prepare for Hard Brexit

German Business Told to Prepare for Hard Brexit
German Business Told to Prepare for Hard Brexit

The Federation of German Industries, or BDI, has urged businesses in this country to draw up plans for an unregulated exit of Britain from the EU, meaning the UK leaves the bloc without a deal to shape future relations.

German companies operating in Britain and Northern Ireland “must prepare for the worst-case scenario of a very hard exit” from the European Union, Joachim Lang, the head of Germany’s powerful Federation of German Industries said on Thursday. He warned those not making provision for the event that the UK quits the bloc without a new trade agreement “would be naive”, DW reported.

Lang said the UK’s governing Conservative party was “at odds” with itself over its strategy for ending the country’s 44-year membership of the bloc, which is slated for March 2019. A hard Brexit would see the EU and Britain fall back on World Trade Organization rules that would likely see the imposition of tariffs on goods, services and financial transactions.

“After four rounds of negotiations, German industry looks with concern at the progress of the Brexit negotiation,” Lang told reporters in Berlin. “The British government is lacking a clear concept despite talking a lot,” he added.

His comments come amid fighting within Prime Minister Theresa May’s government over calls for a minimum two-year transitional arrangement to allow more time to negotiate Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Progress has been slow during tense negotiations between Britain’s Brexit Minister David Davis and his counterpart at the European Commission, Michel Barnier.

May admitted her government was preparing for “every eventuality”, including not reaching a deal by the 2019 deadline, during a gaffe-ridden party conference speech on Wednesday.

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