BREXIT could hit Germany harder than anywhere else in the EU with its businesses facing an extra £8billion in costs.
A new study says border waiting times, tolls and regulatory barriers will particularly affect the country because of the importance of the car industry.
Sales are particularly strong in the UK, meaning an estimated £2.66billion of the £8billion will have to be shouldered by carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes.
The study, by the business advisory firm Oliver Wyman and the law firm Clifford Chance, also estimated that across the whole of the EU there will be an additional £32.8billion in costs to businesses.
That is not counting the estimated £28.4billion that British businesses will also have to carry.
Yesterday’s report came as German chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) concluded a coalition agreement with the opposition Social Democrats, nearly six months after her Christian Democrat Union faltered at the general election. ‘I think we all feel that it’s finally time to start work,’ she told reporters.
Oliver Wyman’s Germany head, Finja Carolin Kütz, said that all businesses need to prepare for Brexit but small firms in particular will find it difficult.
She said: ‘Around 60 per cent of the small businesses that also have exports are focused on the EU and do not have any processes in place to deal with trading outside of the EU.’