GERMAN businesses have admitted they are terrified at the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, with business bosses pinning the blame on Britain for the financial threat.
Berlin firms have revealed they are panicking over the “fatal” consequences if the UK breaks free from the EU without a deal, which could trigger a “massive crisis” across the continent, according to industry chiefs. But, despite fears, business are not prepared to back down and believe it should be London who caves to Brussels demands. Joachim Lang, director-general of Federation of German Industry, said: "A chaotic Brexit is getting dangerously close.
“Businesses on both sides of the English Channel are hanging in the air. The priority must be to avoid a hard Brexit. British politics has to live up to this responsibility.
“The cohesion of the EU-27 is the top priority for the German industry. We support the EU's negotiating line. The ball is in London’s court.”
But the German economy relies heavily on the UK market, with Britain having a £21billion trade deficit with Germany, out of a total trade volume of £134billion in 2017. The UK is the fifth largest destination for its goods and 750,000 German jobs depend on the relationship between the two countries.
But Brexit has already made a dent, with German exports to the UK falling by more than £1billion in 2017 compared to the year before. And now Germany has been forced to consider what could happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit in regards to its car industry as the UK is Germany’s biggest single car market, even bigger than the US or China.
Marc Tenbieg, managing director of the German Mittelstand Association (DMB), told the Daily Telegraph: “Long-term business relationships between companies from both countries are in danger from a no-deal-Brexit.
“German SMEs have built up intensive and trusting business relationships with British companies over many years on the basis of stable political and economic conditions. It’s detrimental for both countries if functioning market and trade structures are frivolously endangered by volatile political decisions.”
But Mr Tenbieg argued the “EU’s position has been consistent throughout the negotiations” and accused Prime Minister Theresa May of handling the exit deal in an “erratic” manner.
The Cologne Institute for Economic Research has warned a hard Brexit could slash German exports to the UK by 57 per cent.
And Berlin has created new laws to protects its businesses from the economic issues of a no-deal Brexit and Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to contingency measures to reassure companies.