"The fact that the EU and the United Kingdom are resuming talks on their future relationship is a long-expected signal. The corona crisis currently demands a great deal of attention and valuable time from both parties. Immense organisational challenges have unexpectedly been added to the major substantive obstacles. This has seriously complicated the negotiations for weeks.
Those businesses directly impacted by Brexit have been forced to cope with two crises simultaneously. Europe's supply and value-creation chains have already been interrupted by measures to contain the coronavirus. Britain's exit threatens further serious delays. In the event of an end to the transitional phase without a follow-up agreement, the effects would be even more disastrous.
Business is concerned that failure in the negotiations will become a reality. The possibility of failure in reaching a follow-up agreement looms. In any event, companies will have to adjust to more difficult conditions from next year on.
Time is extremely short. It should be clear to the negotiating parties that there are now few options for cushioning the consequences of Brexit. Attention must now be focussed on closely examining all the options in the withdrawal agreement in order to prevent a hard breach of unimaginable dimensions."