Only four days into the EU transition phase and the objectives of the political declaration seem to be jeopardised says Alex Altmann, Partner at Blick Rothenberg, who is also Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany.
Alex, who today organised the second British-German Business Exchange Conference which saw British and German business leaders gather at the German Embassy in London to discuss the future of British-EU trade at the start of the negotiations for a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU said, “We are four days into the transition phase and the objectives of the political declaration seem to be jeopardised.”
Alex said, “Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he would consider severing links with the EU without a trade deal if Brussels insisted on tying the UK closely to its standards. British and German businesses need to work together to ensure there is no stalemate.
“There is some £640bn of annual trade at stake. The EU is offering the UK a trade deal including tariff-free trade in goods as well as minimising barriers in service sectors. The negotiations should start with a positive message from both sides to achieve these targets.”
Alex added, “The UK is Germany’s largest export market in Europe with over 20% of all exports going across the Channel. A no-deal Brexit with customs barriers, regulatory diversion and uncertainty around immigration would cost the German economy around 1% of GDP with the potential of 200,000 job losses, which would move the country into a recession in 2020.”
“A trade deal with the maximum access to each other’s markets and the removal of tariffs and quotas will save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs on both sides and that is what is needed.
Alex concluded by saying, “Business communities, in the UK and the EU, want these negotiations to succeed. The outcome will impact on costs and investment plans for years to come. Clarity is urgently needed.”
For more information, please contact Alex Altmann.