German businesses in Britain call for UK to remain in EU

German businesses in Britain call for UK to remain in EU

German businesses in Britain call for UK to remain in EU

The FINANCIAl -- There are thousands of German companies with interests in Britain and their representatives have indicated clearly that they want to see the UK stay within the European Union.

With the issue high on the political agenda in Britain at present, the German Industry UK representative body has written to the UK's prime minister, chancellor and business secretary to ask that they make clear their support for British membership of the EU.

The industry body represents 100 chief executives of German businesses operating in Britain, which collectively employ tens of thousands of people around the country, EUbusiness.

According to German Industry UK's own research, the prevailing view among its members is that the UK should remain as part of the EU but should also seek to reduce the scale of costs, bureaucracy and regulations associated with its membership.

"We would urge the prime minister to convince the British people of the financial, economic and social benefits of the EU for the UK and give a firm commitment to remain in the EU," said Bernd Atenstaedt, chairman of German Industry UK.

"We believe it is in the UK's best interest to stay in the EU for the benefit of our employees and, ultimately, the general public," he said.

However, Atenstaedt went on to describe changes to the nature of Britain's relationship with the EU as "necessary reforms" that the UK prime minister David Cameron should be looking to pursue in coming months and years.

According to the Financial Times, there are roughly half a million British men and women employed directly by German companies, which number close to 2,500 across energy, financial services, retail, transport and manufacturing industries.

Germany was also the UK's single largest trading partner over the course of 2014, with some €92 billion worth of goods being exported to the country in the 12-month period.

Meanwhile, the UK remains a massive market for all manner of other German businesses and not least its carmakers who collectively exported around 820,000 vehicles into the UK last year.

Some interested parties, including representatives of the German car manufacturer's industry have even gone as far as to suggest that the UK leaving the EU would be more damaging to the euro zone economies than would a Greek abandonment of the single currency.

The question of whether or not the UK should remain as part of the EU, which will soon be put to the country's adult population, is complicated further by assertions from Scottish political leaders that an extraction might well lead to a break of the UK itself.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon recently said that she "would not be at all surprised if that [the UK leaving the EU] caused a ground swell of demand for a further independence referendum [in Scotland]".

Implications of a so-called Brexit are also likely to be felt strongly in Ireland, where central bankers are already looking to assess the potential ramifications on the Irish economy if Britain votes to exit the EU.

Keith Tully from Real Business Rescue is a leading corporate insolvency specialist. He knows what it takes to keep struggling businesses afloat and what qualities are required of company directors.