Equipment

German VDA Warns Against Post-Brexit Customs Barriers

June 28, 2016

By Sven-Erik Lindstrand

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VDA President Matthias Wissmann is interviewed by a TV reporter. Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand.
VDA President Matthias Wissmann is interviewed by a TV reporter. Photo: Sven-Erik Lindstrand.

Germany's automotive industry association, VDA, cautioned against any European Union imposition of customs barriers following the UK's decision to exit the European Union.

"Following British departure from the EU, it will be in nobody's interest to make the international flow of goods more expensive by erecting customs barriers between Britain and the European continent," said VDA President Matthias Wissmann.

Although the process to actually "de-couple" Britain from the EU may take some time, a majority 52% of the UK voted to exit the EU.

Several EU-member countries, including Germany, have huge interests in the UK automotive industry, including commercial vehicles. The German auto sector is exporting more to Britain than any other country in the world.

While Wissmann's remarks primarily concerned passenger vehicles, Britain imports a great number of commercial vehicles from companies such as Scania and Volvo, both based in EU member state Sweden, and Mercedes, based in Germany. 

Scania trucks from Sweden are among the commercial vehicles imported to Britain from EU member states. Photo: Lee Bristol via Flickr under Creative Commons license.
Scania trucks from Sweden are among the commercial vehicles imported to Britain from EU member states. Photo: Lee Bristol via Flickr under Creative Commons license.

"The British vote was close," Wissmann said. "But now it is more important than ever for Europe to stand together to avoid a possible domino effect. Every possible measure must be undertaken to enable the continued free movement of goods and services between the UK and the other EU countries," he continued.

"Even if leaving, free exchange of goods with Continental Europe will still be to Britain's net advantage." In central Europe, only Switzerland and Norway are non members of EU.

The VDA chief also appealed for calm in the face of market volatility following Britain's decision to exit. The first time an EU country will have left the 28-strong club has sent shock waves across the continent.

"Even if many 'experts' are competing to paint the worst possible scenario, now is the time for calmness," added Wissmann. "Brussels must draw the correct conclusions from the vote. Our common Europe must become more attractive to its members. We need more transparency and genuinely better regulation. The EU must not become a community of constant transfer payments or merely a transfer union."

Comments

  1. 1. MC [ June 29, 2016 @ 04:24AM ]

    Due to "Brexit", the value of the Euro will likely plummet. There's no doubt that the British pound helped to prop it up. That will raise the value of the dollar and US exports will take a hit. Germany will actually make out in the deal (as the article stated, UK is their biggest trading partner in automotive) as the British pound is stronger than the Euro, so that will only benefit German exports.
    The EU needs to tread lightly if they want to avoid another economic collapse. Enforce trade restrictions, then the strongest economy (Germany) suffers. If the UK is allowed to keep many of the benefits they enjoyed while being a part of the EU, then other states will consider dropping out because there will be no point in staying, hurting those that are still trying to get out the Soviet Bloc funk.

 

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