The head of the German federation of industries has claimed the British are â€œlostâ€ and has thrown doubt on Berlinâ€™s backing for a shortÂ BrexitÂ extension, claiming an â€œeconomy can live better with bad conditions than with uncertaintyâ€.
Dieter Kempf, the chairman of the Bundesverbandes der Deutschen Industrie, said the 100,000 companies he represents and their 8 million employees have prepared for a no-deal scenario in March, not in May.
Speaking in the wake of the British prime ministerâ€™s suggestion thatÂ the UK could request a two-month Brexit delay,Â Kempf told the Dutch newspaperHet Financieele DagbladÂ that he felt no relief at the apparent U-turn by Theresa May.
He said: â€œEverything is better than a chaotic Brexit. But is procrastination good? No. Uncertainty is bad for the economy. If we talk about a period of two and a half weeks, it is good if we avoid a hard Brexit.
â€œBut what will change in three to four weeks? The British House of Commons knows very well what it does not want, but not what it wants. It cannot decide. The British are lost, they canâ€™t find the way to the exit. That makes it difficult for a negotiating partner.â€
German companies had been working on a spring deadline for their no-deal plans, Kemp said. â€œThey have increased their storage capacity. They have planned a transition period for the reorganisation of logistics processes without loss of production. Now there would be a delay until May. What do they do then? My experience is that the economy can live better with bad conditions than with uncertainty.â€
May has said that she will allow a possible extension of article 50 to be put before parliament should her deal be voted down again on 12 March.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45