The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has expressed its concerns about a further postponement of Brexit without a clear goal. “There will be no free pass for a postponement without a clear timetable,” BDI Director General Joachim Lang said in Berlin. Should the U.K. Government make a renewed application for an extension of the Article 50 deadline, it must be clear how the United Kingdom intends to find a route out of the looming no-deal disaster. “Only in this case – and given credible parliamentary backing – do we believe that a further extension makes sense,” Lang stressed.
Any possible extension of the deadline would increase insecurity for companies, the BDI Director General said. The last postponement of the departure date in April did not take the political negotiations any further at all. “Instead, many companies that had planned for March 29 exerted considerable effort and made needless expenditures, eventually with no outcome. A last-minute postponement is particularly expensive.”
Lang was critical of the fact that Brexit was looming in the wink of an eye – and there was nevertheless no basis for discussion from London. “It only remains for our companies to get ready for a hard Brexit on October 31.” No plan could be discerned from the U.K. Government for avoiding a no-deal Brexit. “The actions of the British government are disturbing. This is irresponsible and playing with fire,” Lang said.
A no-deal Brexit would be absolutely the worst possible scenario for business. In the German economy, only low growth in gross domestic product of at most 0.5 per cent is possible this year by comparison with last year. In the event of a hard Brexit without an agreement, German GDP growth could tend towards zero.
Lang nevertheless made clear that German industry was backing the EU negotiating position without reservation. For business, the integrity of the internal market of the EU27 is the main concern: “Europe is our domestic market. The stability of the EU is our prime objective,” the BDI Director General said.