German Industry Leader Calls For Free Trade Deal Following Brexit

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A senior German industry figure has said it would be “very, very foolish” to impose trade barriers and called for a free trade deal between the UK and the European Union (EU) if Britons vote to leave the EU. Mark Kerber, boss of the influential German industry organisation BDI, said he would make the case against trade tariffs and would call for a free trade deal if Britain votes to leave the EU tomorrow. Mr. Kerber, who heads up the German equivalent of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said that any introduction of tariffs would be a “regression to times we thought we’d left behind in the 1970s”. “Imposing trade barriers, imposing protectionist measures between our two countries – or between the two political centres, the European Union on the one hand and the UK on the other – would be a very, very foolish thing in the 21st Century. “The BDI would urge politicians on both sides to come up with a trade regime that enables us to uphold and maintain the levels of trade we have, although it will become more difficult.” Despite German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble threatening to freeze out Britain from the Single Market following a vote to leave — “out is out” — it