"A hard Brexit still looms ahead in 2021"


After years of negotiations the time has come: the British are leaving the European Union. During the transition period nothing major will change. But the EU and UK immediately need to start negotiating a free trade agreement.

With regard to the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, VDMA Chief Executive Thilo Brodtmann says:

"The VDMA very much regrets that Great Britain is leaving the EU. The Brexit knows no winners. The good news for our companies is that, in principle, nothing will change as of the reporting date of 31 January. Unfortunately, the question remains open as to how goods purchased by EU companies in Britain and then exported directly or as part of a machine to third countries are treated. Great Britain will remain in the internal market and the customs union until the end of the year due to the transitional arrangement. But this is no reason to sound the all-clear. This is because a hard Brexit still looms ahead in January 2021.

The Brexit knows no winners.

The EU and Great Britain urgently need to negotiate a free trade agreement and ratify it by the end of this year. This FTA should at least guarantee freedom from customs duties, avoid technical barriers to trade and ensure the free movement of workers. This can only succeed if both sides closely follow existing model agreements".

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