A number of major German business figures, including three ex-presidents of the Federation of German Industry have taken it upon themselves to convince UK to stay in the European Union. The group has dubbed itself, “New Deal for Britain”.
The Federation of German Industry (BDI), is similar to the UK business lobby group called the CBI. Speaking of the alliance, Hans-Olaf Henkel, a leading ex-BDI figure, and current MEP stated that the group wanted to “launch a Battle for Britain” with its initiative.
He added that the group hoped for a new offer from the European Union, stating that the “call” the group was making was addressed to Brussels and Berlin.
Another important member of the New Deal for Britain initiative, ex-BDI president, Henirich Weiss stated that if the EU lost Britain it would be losing “its most important ally” in the “fight for competitiveness”.
The agenda of the group, however, may not see many takers in Berlin. The current position maintained by the EU is that the integrity of the Union is far more important than the deal cut for the UK. However, the alliance has demanded that European governments take a more compromising stance.
The alliance is afraid that Britain’s exit from the EU will result in unforeseen economic turmoil for the Union. It will also be calling on the British government, asking it to reconsider its decision to leave the European Union.
However, the group seems to have hit a number of obstacles on its quest. A BBC correspondent to Berlin even stated that the group was “unlikely to significantly alter Germany’s position”. It is also highly unlikely that its efforts will get it far with the British Government. However, the alliance is determined to make a difference.
The alliance comes at a time when the EU has expressed its desire to offer the UK, the “most ambitious” free trade deal, provided Britain agrees to the conditions placed on Brexit.