25 September 2018
German manufacturers are becoming concerned about the possibility of a no deal Brexit according to a new report. Although Chancellor Angela Merkel told Der Spiegel at the weekend that she expects a no-deal Brexit would have a “relatively small” impact on the German labour market, the nation’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce begs to differ.
In a new report, the organisation says manufacturers are becoming increasingly concerned about Brexit, not least because it is coming at a time of worsening conflicts and barriers in global trade, headlined by President Trump’s tariff war with China. “German companies are very worried over whether solutions can be found,” said the report. “Brexit is going to bring immense challenges with profound consequences. All sides need to be aware of the economic stakes involved.”
Germany is one of the UK’s most important trading partners and vice versa. UK trade with Germany in 2016 amounted to £75.1 billion of imports and £49.1 billion of exports, making Britain Germany’s fourth largest export/investment market after the US, France and China. For the UK, Germany is the second largest export market after the US.
About 750,000 jobs in Germany are estimated to be dependent on trade with the UK. There are 1,400 British companies operating in Germany with about 240,000 employees.
Earlier this year, a DIHK survey of 900 German firms operating in Britain showed just 12 per cent expected an improvement in business prospects, with 36 per cent expecting a deterioration and the remainder anticipating no change.