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Brexit agreement must not fail because of fishing quotas!


20 Oct 2020



 Majority of mechanical engineering companies expect hard Brexit

·       A level playing field is a prerequisite for access to the internal market

·       VDMA supports its members with exclusive information on new website

Brussels/Frankfurt – 20th October 2020 – The vast majority of machinery and plant manufacturers no longer believe in a negotiated solution to the Brexit dispute and are preparing for a "no deal" scenario as a precaution. This was the result of a mood test among 63 VDMA member companies, in which almost 80 percent of those questioned stated that they no longer expected an agreement between the EU and the UK. Moreover, 70 percent of the surveyed VDMA members  consider their British business partners to be poorly prepared.

"It is madness that in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since World War II, the EU and Great Britain are heading for a hard Brexit and are thus further burdening the economic situation of the companies," says VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann. Above all, the fact that the negotiations threaten to fail due to a lack of agreement on fishing quotas is incomprehensible in the machine and plant construction industry. "It is absurd that successful and export-strong branches of industry such as mechanical engineering will possibly suffer from the quarrels in a sector that is relatively insignificant in economic terms. It is in the interest of society that politicians do everything now to stabilize the industrial pillars of the European economy," Brodtmann demands. He therefore views last week's EU summit as a disappointment, as there was no decisive progress in the Brexit negotiations.

The second major bone of contention in the negotiations is the creation of a level playing field on both sides of the Channel. On this, the VDMA Executive Director says: "Under no circumstances must we allow the EU internal market to be undermined by special regulations. This means that the British can only gain access to the internal market if they abide by essential competition rules. Free access to the internal market for potentially highly subsidised British companies would be unfair and would jeopardise the functioning of the EU".

In order to prepare its member companies for Brexit in the best possible way, VDMA has launched its own website on which exclusive information on legal, tax and other practical Brexit issues is published and constantly updated. In addition to checklists and leaflets, VDMA offers various web seminars, such as expert talks on work assignments in Great Britain, for its members.

The new VDMA Brexit web page can be found here.

A photo of Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of VDMA, can be found here.

Do you have any questions? Holger Kunze, Head of VDMA European Office in Brussels, will gladly answer them:; Tel: +32 2 7068213

If you have any questions regarding the VDMA internal Brexit survey, please contact Yvonne Heidler:; Tel: +49 69 6603 1400

The VDMA represents around 3300 German and European companies in the mechanical engineering industry. The industry represents innovation, export orientation, medium-sized companies and employs around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany.