Mark, the Brexit decision in your country has been postponed again.
This week, VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann considered that a hard Brexit will cause a loss of wealth and jobs for Europe, and that companies and people in the UK will pay a high price for this.
What is your bottom line, as an British citizen and as the head of a British company?
In 1975, the UK was invited to join the EEC (European Economic Council), and following a referendum it was decided that we should indeed join. The main purpose at the time was to facilitate a free trade agreement between the UK and European countries alike.
If you speak to a lot of the original people that voted for this agreement, they will tell you that they did not vote for ‘unchecked immigration, UK laws being overturned by Brussels, and the bureaucratic animal that the EU has grown into today.
The UK of course wishes to carry on with the free trade agreement along with controlled immigration, but it is actually in the interests of Germany and other member nations far more than the UK that this is achieved. For example, if we consider 1 in 5 BMW cars ends up here, and there are many other examples too, which make the UK a net importer rather than exporter to the Union.
Perhaps Mr Brodtmann should be a little more concerned about how this will affect his members, rather than focusing on how it will affect the UK?