Now German businesses are calling for post-Brexit partnership with UK

Hayley Kirton
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"German companies with operations in the United Kingdom face massive challenges starting in 2019," said Kerber (Source: Getty)

Firms in Germany want to maintain strong ties with the UK once it departs the EU, the managing director of one of the country's major industry groups has said.

"Ideally, we would have a deep and comprehensive partnership agreement on investment and trade," said Markus Kerber of BDI, according to Reuters.

Kerber warned the fallout from Brexit could disrupt business for German firms, which are currently unsure what trade with the UK will look like beyond 2019.

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In 2015, €175bn (£148.5bn) worth of trade in goods and services flowed between the two countries, while more than 2,200 German companies currently operate in the UK, employing 370,000 people.

German firms which regularly do business in the UK are also facing questions over how to make sure their operations are compliant with two jurisdictions.

"German companies with operations in the United Kingdom face massive challenges starting in 2019," Kerber added. "Issues include customs duties, protectionist measures, diverging rules, lack of market access and tax dislocation."

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Kerber is not the first person to warn a bungled Brexit deal could spell as much, if not more, trouble for those on the east side of the Channel.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney told MPs last month the consequences of a bad Brexit deal with no transition period "would be greater for Europe than the UK".

Meanwhile, a report from the European parliament’s committee on economic and monetary affairs, which was leaked earlier this month, revealed there were concerns in the EU that any attempt of a raid on the City of London's financial status could ultimately backfire for the other member states.

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"If financial services companies choose to leave the UK as a result of Brexit, the consequences should be carefully evaluated," the document read.

"A badly designed final deal would damage both the UK and the other 27 EU member states."

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