English

Impassioned appeal for TTIP agreement

At the traditional dinner of the Iserlohner Bürger Schützen Verein e.V (Iserlohn residents' shooting club – IBSV) official speaker Arndt G. Kirchhoff was clear on why Europe now needs the treaty even more as the threat of Brexit looms.

Speaker Arndt G. Kirchhoff declared the result of the Brexit referendum "terrible for young British people" on Saturday at the IBSV traditional dinner at the Parkhalle hall. "Because 80% of them want to stay in the EU", the KIRCHHOFF Automotive Managing Partner explained in front of around 200 guests from backgrounds in business, society, politics and administration. The UK has now "isolated itself for the time being". "We need to keep boarders open", Kirchhoff urged, mirroring the theme of his talk agreed last May: 'Germany now and its future – why TTIP has to become a reality'. The impending Brexit has reinforced the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership for Europe and for "Germany's success" in particular, which is due to excellent education, innovation, regional value chains and medium-sized companies This is why Kirchhoff tried to quell the many fears aroused by talk of the agreement (consumer protection, tariff autonomy, courts of arbitration) and insisted that Europe has not been left standing.

Andreas Heine from Kirchhoff Automotive GmbH, with its main office in Iserlohn, warned against panic. "Of course this is a bad day for Europe. There will only ever be losers". As his company sells car parts to automotive manufacturers across the world, he sees no short-term shortages for the enterprise. "It will mainly affect the companies that sell their products directly to customers in Britain". The situation of his plant in Wales, which produces road sweepers, for example, "will not improve straight away" because the pound is weak. "Then we'll have a long-term competitive disadvantage". Andreas Heine is disappointed by the UK's decision on a personal level: "The evening before I actually still thought, 'it'll be all right.' The Brits have definitely made the wrong decision. You can only stand your ground on a global level these days with allies by your side".

With its brand FAUN (refuse vehicles/road sweepers), KIRCHHOFF Ecotec demonstrates how interconnected the British are with the EU, something the Brits perhaps are not aware of. FAUN has a plant in Wales that manufactures products exclusively for the UK market. You could be forgiven for thinking that there is no problem, but the Wales plant only operates assembly facilities. The individual parts come from Germany and Poland. As a result of Brexit, imports could become extremely expensive due to fluctuations in the exchange rate.

(Source: IKZ, WP)

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