15. November 2016
38th “Bavarian Business Talk” with UK Minister of State for International Trade
On November 3, 2016, more than 200 representatives from politics, business and science came together to join the 38th “Bavarian Business Talk” with Greg Hands, Minister of State for International Trade and Investment. In the newly established Department for International Trade, it is Hands’ responsibility to pave the way for UK’s trade policies after Brexit.
You can‘t have it all
In his introduction, Bertram Brossardt, CEO of vbw, appealed to the UK and the EU to limit the economic consequences of Brexit as far as possible and preserve the integration of the UK into the EU. "With 8.6 percent of exports, the UK is the number two export market for Bavaria following the United States. Therefore, it is important to maintain good economic relations. On the other hand, it must also be clear that the EU cannot allow the UK any cherry picking claiming to benefit from the advantages and refusing negative implications. The danger of other countries following the example of Great Britain is too great."
Brexit means Brexit
Greg Hands on the other hand strongly campaigned for his government’s position “Brexit means Brexit”. He assured that the United Kingdom would continue to advocate liberal and open trade relations in the future. Hands also stressed the importance and strength of the economic links between Germany, Bavaria and the United Kingdom now and in the future.
Lessons for the EU
Bertram Brossardt appreciated Hands’ remarks on the market and regulatory views and called on the EU to draw lessons from the referendum: "The EU must again act strictly according to the subsidiarity principle. Instead of adopting new regulations in the area of work and social affairs, we need, for example, a common European strategy in the field of refugee policy. Great Britain’s aim to set stricter conditions for the provision of social benefits for EU immigrants is absolutely justified. Freedom of movement for citizens within the EU must not become a byword for unregulated migration into social systems", said Brossardt.