German industry urges Britain to stick to Brexit trade pact

Business Tuesday 27/April/2021 17:41 PM
German industry urges Britain to stick to Brexit trade pact
Photo: BNA

Brussels: The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has urged Britain to stick to the post-Brexit trade deal ahead of a key debate and vote in the European Parliament on Tuesday to ratify the agreement.

"It is absolutely counter-productive that the British Prime Minister is constantly threatening to breach the agreement," BDI Managing Director Joachim Lang told Deutsche press agency (dpa).

Abiding by the agreement would strengthen trust in Britain as a place to do business, Lang asserted.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which London has already ratified, conditionally came into force at the start of this year.

The European Parliament will hold a debate and a consent vote accompanied by a resolution on Tuesday. The vote comes four days before the end of the temporary application period on April 30.

EU lawmakers are expected to back the pact. The result of the vote is not expected until Wednesday.

Lang, the BDI representative, explained that firms need more legal certainty because even more than 100 days after Britain's formally leaving the EU, many still struggle with customs formalities and logistical hurdles.

Lang warned that even after approval of the post-Brexit trade pact by the EU Parliament, the investment risk remains high. "There is still a risk that the UK will suspend or even terminate parts of the agreement."

The trade deal stipulates that British goods can in principle be imported into the EU duty-free and vice versa. Nevertheless, customs formalities and checks have been in place since January 1.