British and German firms unite to call for business-friendly Brexit talks


As the third round of Brexit negotiations commences in Brussels, British and German businesses are requesting negotiators of the European Union to concentrate on the countries’ shared economic interests.

The Association of German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said British and German companies want clarity from the outset on the overall shape of the final settlement in a joint statement.

Numerous major issues concerning businesses are yet to be resolved, including the rights of workers from the European Union in Britain and British workers in the other member states of the EU.

There is a developing view that discussions on the future trade relationship of Britain with the bloc could be delayed even after the autumn. In October, the EU will decide whether Britain has made enough progress on Brexit divorce issues, including the bothersome subject of an exit bill before talks move on to trade.

There are hundreds of technical and practical issues, including tax procedures and customs arrangements, that requires being resolved during later stages of the negotiations. Businesses in both Germany and the United Kingdom wish to see talks move on to these concerns, customs in particular, as soon as possible.

The BCC’s director general, Adam Marshall, stated: “As Brexit talks continue, it’s clear that companies in the UK and on the continent all want economic issues to rise to the top of the negotiations agenda. There is real business appetite from both sides for a focus on practical, day-to-day business concerns, and a desire for clarity on future trading arrangements.”

DIHK’s head, Martin Wansleben, declared: “The terms of exit are still completely unclear. Many of our members are reporting that they are already shifting investments away from the UK in anticipation of these barriers.”

It was noted by Wansleben that German exports to the United Kingdom were down 3 percent in the first half of 2017; while exports to the rest of the European Union rose by 6 percent.

On a recent BBC survey, it showed that with 68% advocating at least three years, British firms prefer a longer transition period. A survey from the DIHK has discovered that the business outlook of companies that trade with Britain is getting worse. They are expecting greater costs from limits on the free movement of workers, tariffs, taxes, and increasing bureaucratic hurdles at the new borders of Europe.

Germany is Britain’s second-largest goods and services exports market; while Britain is the third-largest destination for German goods exports.