Wednesday, 14 March 2018

German firms UK should stay in a customs union after Brexit

German firms ideally want the UK to stay in a customs union after Brexit, a powerful German industry group says.

The BDI said it would prefer a deep form of integration between Britain and the EU after Brexit.

It had previously said the integrity of the single market for remaining European Union member states should be a priority.

Another German industry group, the VDMA engineering association, also called on Tuesday for an EU-UK customs deal.

Joachim Lang, chief executive of the BDI - the Federation of German Industries - said: "For German companies, duty-free and quota-free trade in goods is the minimum requirement, ideally within the framework of a customs union."
German companies needed clarity on a post-Brexit future, he said.

Meanwhile, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) also called for a customs union.

"A mere trade agreement between the EU and the UK is actually too little and would mean a significant deterioration compared to the status quo," said VDMA chief executive Thilo Brodtmann.

"A trade agreement would in any case mean border controls and customs clearance, even if both sides do not impose customs duties. A customs union between the EU and the UK would take away much of Brexit's horror," Mr Brodtmann added.

In the customs union, EU members don't impose tariffs on each other, and apply the same tariffs to goods from outside the union.

That means once goods have cleared customs in one country, they can be shipped to others in the union without further tariffs being imposed.

In the EU single market, as well as there being no tariffs, quotas or taxes on trade, there is also the free movement of goods, services, capital and people.

BBC      News.