German industry concerned about lack of progress in Brexit negotiations

In the lead-up to the fifth round of Brexit talks, the BDI is calling on its members to prepare for the scenario of a very hard exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. A taskforce has been set up in response to the lack of any real progress in the divorce talks so far.

In the days ahead of the fifth round of Brexit talks, the BDI is concerned with the progress of the negotiations so far. “German companies must prepare for the possibility of a very hard exit, anything else would be naive,” said BDI Director General Joachim Lang in Berlin. “Businesses are preparing for all possible scenarios.”

The BDI set up a Brexit taskforce this summer. Structured into ten project groups and consisting of almost 200 members from a wide range of associations and companies, the aim of the taskforce is to identify the potential and acute risks of Brexit for business relations and to develop constructive solution proposals.

“It is clear that Brexit – regardless of the form it ultimately takes – throws up innumerable questions on legal regulations, economic policy and business issues,” said Lang. He added that the recent Conservative Party Conference had shown how deeply divided the party is on Brexit and that there is still no clear concept for a Brexit strategy. This makes future negotiations very difficult. The BDI Director General underlined that the economic sector firmly backs the EU’s strategy in these negotiations. “German industry certainly aims to have a very close relationship with United Kingdom in the future. But our priority clearly lies with the further development of the European Union.” The joint taskforce is working closely with the federal government and the European Commission’s Article 50 Taskforce that is in charge of negotiations for the European side.