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June 22, 2018updated 21 Jun 2018 2:28pm

Siemens parent warns of Brexit trade disruption

By Christopher Marchant

The UK chief executive of manufacturer Siemens has warned that the German company may limit its investment in the UK as a result of uncertainty over the country’s departure from the European Union, especially in the event of a ‘no deal’ departure.

Speaking to Reuters, Juergen Maier said: “My biggest worry about Brexit is that I don’t know what we are planning for.”

The UK is Siemens’ fourth-largest market after the United States, Germany and China. It employs 15,000 people in the UK and it is estimated that 56,000 UK jobs depend on it.

The captive finance arm of Siemens, Siemens Financial Services (SFS), has a large UK base in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.

During the interview Maier said: “If the Brexit we end up having provides significant friction, provides significant cost then of course that will be an argument against making investments here in the UK.

“Are parts going to be able to pass frictionless over the border, or are we in a situation where we are struggling to export from the UK?

“The fact is it’s very difficult because we don’t know exactly what we are planning for. Contingency planning is very difficult when the options are so varied. We have got contingency plans that we can implement depending on various scenarios and one of those scenarios is a no deal – but let me tell you that scenario doesn’t look very good.”

Maier also claimed that adding two minutes onto every lorry’s customs procedure passing through Dover would produce a 14-mile tailback on either side of the Channel after one day.

Maier was born in Germany but emigrated to the UK at ten years old. He has worked for Siemens since entering on a graduate programme in 1986 after studying production engineering at Nottingham Trent.

This month Midlands Asset Finance (MAF) brokered an invoice finance deal for haulier Clarke Transport, funded by Siemens Financial Services.

Leasing Life has contacted SFS for comment via representatives.

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