German industry chief warns against no-deal Brexit

German industry chief warns against no-deal Brexit

A German industry chief has warned against the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.

Joachim Lang, the head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), has said that many businesses in Germany are hoping for the UK to reverse its decision on leaving the EU.

“The risk of a hard [no-deal] Brexit is growing by the day. Every business would do well to prepare for this worst-case scenario,” he said in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.

“What’s new is that the British government itself is now warning about the possibility of a hard Brexit It is carefully preparing its population for that.”

“We suspect that the effects of a hard Brexit will be considerably more serious than the British government is currently telling its citizens. And above all, in Britain itself. The British have already gone from a growth engine to the worst performers in Europe,” Lang added.

When asked about whether the UK should have a second referendum on the Brexit vote, Lang said:  “Voters voted for Brexit, that should be respected. But it would save a lot of businesspeople sleepless nights if the British stayed in the EU.”

“[Britain is] an exceptionally liberal and market-orientated country. We would like to continue with them as a partner in the EU. That’s why many in [German] industry want the British to reconsider leaving. Whether that’s realistic or romantic is another kettle of fish. We’re telling our businesses: prepare for the worst, and hope that it turns out better,” he added.

The UK however, remains confident. 

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We have always said the United Kingdom would continue to thrive in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

“But we are confident of getting a good deal – one that delivers for every part of the United Kingdom and takes back control of our money, laws and our borders. That is what this government will deliver,” the spokesperson added.