Joint UK-German call to put shared economic interests first in Brexit talks
The leading German and UK business organisations are challenging political leaders to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and constructive dialogue, to deliver clarity and certainty for trading businesses across Europe.
With the third round of Brexit negotiations underway, a number of business-critical areas that form part of the withdrawal agreement are yet to be resolved, including the rights of EU workers in the UK and UK workers in the EU27.
Additionally, there are hundreds of practical and technical issues, including customs arrangements and tax procedures, that need to be negotiated as part of the future EU-UK relationship during later stages of the negotiations.
Businesses in both the UK and Germany want to see talks move on to these fundamental issues – and particularly customs concerns – as soon as possible.
There is great uncertainty in the business community all across Europe.
A DIHK survey has found out that the business outlook of companies that are engaged in trade with the United Kingdom is worsening, due to the expectation of cost burdens from limits on free movement of workers, taxes, tariffs and increasing bureaucratic hurdles at Europe's new borders negatively affecting business on both sides.
Meanwhile, respondents to a recent British Chambers of Commerce survey have expressed their preference for a substantial transition period, with 68% saying they seek a transition period of at least three years.
Both German and British businesses also want clarity at the start on the overall shape of the final destination settlement.
The United Kingdom is the third-largest market for German goods exports; in turn, Germany is the UK’s second-largest goods and services exports destination.
German companies maintain about 2,500 branch offices in the UK, which employ nearly 400,000 workers. British companies have 1,200 branch offices in Germany, which employ about 220,000 workers. ■