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October 10, 2018

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German firms ‘hit hard by hard Brexit’

German firms would face extra tariffs of more than 3 billion euros (US$3.4 billion) a year if Britain quits the European Union without a trade deal, and their exports to Britain might drop by up to 57 percent, Germany’s IW institute said yesterday.

Talks on ending four decades of Britain’s membership in the European Union have entered their final stage more than two years after Britons voted for Brexit. A hard Brexit would mean Britain leaving the bloc with no trade deal.

The BDI industry association — one of Germany’s most influential lobby groups — said a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations was needed at an October 17-18 summit in Brussels.

“Otherwise there is the risk that Europe slides into a disorderly Brexit and that would cause a huge crisis,” said managing director Joachim Lang, adding a hard Brexit would cause huge difficulties for tens of thousands of companies in Europe and hundreds of thousands of employees in Britain and the European Union.

Many companies were preparing for a hard Brexit and some wanted to suspend production in Britain from April as delivery routes could not be secured and some were moving their headquarters from Britain, adjusting their legal frameworks and looking for new transport routes.

Some individual pharmaceutical and chemical companies have spent up to 100 million pounds (US$130 million) preparing for Brexit.


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