Issuing a severe warning of congestion at ports and catastrophic job losses in the case of the United Kingdom if there was no exit deal for the country while leaving the European Union, companies in the UK were furious at the prolongation of the Brexit uncertainties and at the attitude of British politicians even as the due date for imposition of Brexit closes down very fast.
After the defeat of the proposed deal by British Prime Minister Theresa May in parliament by
British lawmakers, businesses have become very weary of a very real possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Companies said that passing of the deal could have brought an end to the two year Brexit uncertainty and ensured tariff-free trade and boosted the chances of the just-in-time cross-border supply chains which has become very critical for many manufacturers and retailers in the UK.
While calling for urgent and decisive action by the British government on Brexit, a wide range of companies – from the Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel to Scotch whisky distillers, unanimously issued warnings about the possible negative outcome for the business and economy in case of a no-deal Brexit.
“The distortions would be too great for trade, financing conditions and investor confidence,” said Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Christian Sewing at an event in Berlin. The UK economy would be pushed into a recession that would last at least for two years, warned Sewing and added that such a scenario would shave off half percentage point from the economic output for the remainder of the EU.
And according to the warning of Jens Bjorn Andersen, the head of Danish freight company DSV, tailbacks stretching 80 miles (130 km) from London to the port of Dover would be the result if every truck crossing the English Channel was forced to stop and spend time for a customs checks at eth UK-EU border. About 17 per cent of the United Kingdom’s goods trade is handled by the port. Everything from perishable food to medicines pass through the port in up to 10,000 trucks passing through it every day.
About 450 customs specialists had been hired for advising clients at the newly opened office of logistics giant Deutsche Post at the English port of Southampton in relation to the problems at Dover, said the logistics company. It further said that none of the contingency plans that it has prepared for multiple eventualities of Brexit over the last 12 months could be implemented by it because of the absolute lack of clarity on the fate of a deal or no-deal Brexit.
“We are relying on a decision by the United Kingdom,” said Deutsche Post, which employs 54,000 people in Britain.
In order to avoid a chaotic Brexit, and specifically with relation to ensuring the supply of medicines, a call for interim solution and measures was given by Germany’s chemical and pharmaceutical industry association (VCI). “A disorderly Brexit would create such a complex situation that it is impossible for companies to prepare for all eventualities,” said VCI Managing Director Utz Tillmann.
A call for stepping up their plans for Brexit was given to Belgian companies by the country’s finance minister.
Unhindered trade was crucial, said LTO Nederland, which is a body that represents Dutch farmers and agricultural producers who export goods worth more than 8 billion euros ($9.1 billion) every year.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)