German industry warns UK not to expect help in Brexit talks

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German industry warns UK not to expect help in Brexit talks

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. British ministers have claimed that German exporters will support trade with Britain. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Articolo tratto The Guardian by Michael Savage

Bosses say the priority is to protect the single market, dashing hopes that exporters will put pressure on Merkel for a favourable trade deal

German industry has warned Britain not to rely on its help in securing a good Brexit deal, in a stark intervention that strikes a blow at the government’s EU departure plans.

Senior ministers have repeatedly claimed since the election that Germany’s powerful exporters will exert pressure for a deal handing Britain substantial access to the EU’s markets.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. British ministers have claimed that German exporters will support trade with Britain. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

However, ministers are told that it is up to the British government to limit the economic fallout from its decision to leave the single market. With the government facing new pressure from business to soften its Brexit plans, German industrialists also warn that Britain will struggle to avoid economic damage as a result of exiting the bloc.

Two of Germany’s biggest industry groups have told the Observer that their main concern during the Brexit process is protecting the single market for the remaining 27 members, even if this harms trade with Britain.

Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI, the federation of German industries, said: “Defending the single market, a key European project, must be the priority for the European Union. Europe must maintain the integrity of the single market and its four freedoms: goods, capital, services, and labour.

“It is the responsibility of the British government to limit the damage on both sides of the Channel. Over the coming months, it will be extraordinarily difficult to avert negative effects on British businesses in particular.”

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