With Brexit less than two months away, and no divorce deal in sight, some German companies are taking matters into their own hands to limit any damage to their businesses.
The small and mid-sized firms – albeit a small minority – say they can’t wait any longer to see what agreement, if any, will emerge between London and Brussels. They are taking steps to protect themselves should a chaotic British withdrawal lead to traffic tailbacks, heavier customs bureaucracy and rising delivery costs after March 29, the planned break-up date.
Kieselstein International, a maker of metalworking machines, has for example successfully introduced a clause into a contract to deliver goods to British Steel that puts the onus on the UK firm to bear the costs of any extra red tape linked to Brexit.
“We included a clause that says if delivery takes place after March 29 the goods cannot be delivered to the buyer’s warehouse but are to be picked up in Chemnitz,” managing director Jens Kieselstein told Reuters, referring to the town in Saxony where his business is based.