Brexit: A Call From The Presidents Of The Major Business Organizations of Germany, Italy And France

Negotiations on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom have entered a critical phase.

A few weeks before the December 31 deadline, the risk of a no deal is real. It would lead to cascading consequences for our businesses as well as for our citizens: customs duties, controls, bureaucracy, delays, blockages, outsourcing and so on.

Our companies are devoting all their energy to limiting and correcting the health, social and economic effects of the Covid crisis. They are mobilized to revive our economies and take up the essential ecological and digital challenge. A brutal split between continental Europe and the UK would add further difficulties to the difficulties and would undermine tens of thousands of jobs and activities in all our countries.

On the eve of the European Council on October 15 and 16, we – fully in line with the whole European business community and reiterating the plea we already made through BusinessEurope – solemnly call on the negotiators on both sides of the Channel to do their utmost to conclude an ambitious and comprehensive agreement in time to allow for ratification and entering into force by 1 January 2021, in the mutual interest of the European Union and the United Kingdom.

We call on the leaders of both sides to stay committed to the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration, be pragmatic and explore all possible options to reach a solution which ensures smooth trade conditions, while maintaining the conditions for fair competition between the Union and its British partner.

This necessary agreement should not call into question what is at the heart of our European commitment and of our activities throughout the Union's territory: the solidarity of the 27 and the regular functioning of the single market.

Germany, France, Italy: as members of the Union we share the same interests, the same fundamental values and defend a model of a single market social economy which is unique in the world. Whatever happens after December 31, and more than ever in a dangerous and uncertain world, the bonds will remain strong between us and our British counterparts, allies and friends.

In this historical momentum, we appeal to collective intelligence so that this partnership can be established on a confident and solid foundation.