The automotive sector is unlikely to get any special treatment from Europe after Brexit.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says the car industry as vulnerable to any British attempt to strike market-access deals ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
In a closed-door meeting with German lawmakers, Merkel said some industries might press for such accords with the UK government and that political leaders should oppose them, according to two people who attended and spoke to Automotive News Europe.
Allowing UK banks to do business in the EU in return for Britain granting market access to European carmakers is a non-starter, Merkel was quoted as saying by the people, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.
The comments are the most specific signal yet of German concern that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government might try to sidestep the other 27 EU governments and seek sector-by-sector advantages before Brexit talks have even begun.
As Merkel seeks to enforce the EU’s insistence on a package deal, some ministries in Berlin earlier instructed officials to avoid back-door contacts with U.K. counterparts for the same reason.
The private agreement will make it tougher for the UK to negotiate a soft-exit for the industry despite assurances given to Nissan which preceded an investment announcement in Sunderland.