finance

Brexit a ‘complete shambles’ says UK boss of German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp



Brexit is “a complete shambles” and the government has failed business in its handling of the situation, the UK boss of German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp has said.

Terry Sargeant, the chairman and chief executive of ThyssenKrupp in the UK, said ministers were taking decisions to prevent an “implosion” in the Conservative Party rather than for the benefit of British firms.

Theresa May was forced to abandon plans for an emergency cabinet meeting pencilled in for Monday to approve a Brexit deal, after fresh opposition within her cabinet.

Mr Sargeant told the Guardian that no deal could lead to job cuts at ThyssenKrupp which is one of the largest steelmakers in the world and supplies Boeing, Airbus and the Ministry of Defence among other customers.

“The impact of Brexit for multinationals is disruptive, and could lead to loss of business in Britain,” Mr Sargeant said.

“In Germany, people look at this and are aghast at what is happening. While in the UK we think about Brexit every minute of the day, in Germany, people think about it for 13 seconds before every quarter end or even trimester. We [as businesses] will make decisions based on ease of trade and attractiveness of the market environment.

The comments came after ThyssenKrupp warned for the second time this year that profits would be lower than expected sending its share price down more than 9 per cent on Friday.

Mr Sargeant added: “If you make a market more difficult than it is at the moment, then what is the attraction to the investor?

“I do not see how we can continue doing business where supply chains are so interlinked with being part of the customs union,” Mr Sargeant said.

He said younger people would be worse affected by the decision to leave the EU than his own generation.

“It’s not about me. I am 57 and will retire in a few years. 

“I can retire to Spain. But I am from a working-class background and it is the working man who is going to be hit hardest. This is about the future generations. I am passionate that we do what we can to stop the damage, that is why I am speaking out,” he said.



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