The Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) have called for an EU relationship with the UK that goes deeper than a free-trade agreement.

Both the BDI and the VDMA say they want to see a deep form of integration between the European Union and United kingdom post-Brexit, with the preferred solution being a customs union.

The chief executive of the BDI, Joacham Laing, said:

"For German companies, duty-free and quota-free trade in goods is the minimum requirement, ideally within the framework of a customs union."

And the VDMA chief executive, Thilo Brodtmann, said:

"A mere trade agreement between the EU and the UK is actually too little and would mean a significant deterioration compared to the status quo."

Mr Brodtmann went on to say that a customs union "would take away much of Brexit's horror".

Bloomberg reports:

"The groups, which commented in separate statements, are seeking to inject urgency into divorce talks between Britain and the European Union ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s inauguration to a fourth term on Wednesday and an EU summit next week."

The EU Brexit negotiators have always put the integrity of their single market and customs union above internal member state business requirements, but maybe businesses within the EU27 are beginning to worry that their needs are not going to be met.

The cracks between EU political aims and EU businesses as well as member state economies, especially those in Germany, could now be slowly widening. This may be the time for the UK to double down with its efforts to pressure big EU business to push the EU side harder towards compromise.

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