German farmers ask for soft Brexit trade deal with Britain

The German Farmers' Association (DBV) has urged the European Union to agree upon a soft trade deal with Britain amidst fears of losses that could run to billions of euros in the event of a hard Brexit.

The UK is one of the German agricultural industry’s most lucrative customers, importing €4.5 billion of goods a year while sending only €1.3 billion in the other direction.

No other country provides Germany with such a big surplus in food and drink as the UK.

The DBV is concerned that the country's profits could be severely damaged by the tariffs, customs checks and regulatory changes that could spring up between the two states if talks break down this year.

Walter Heidl vice president of the association said "the fact the UK is leaving the EU is enough to put a colossal strain on the German economy - particularly its agricultural sector.

“Brexit complicates trade and new costs arise. That would mean more time and money from everybody involved.”

He added: “Brexit will result in products from other countries that have previously gone to the UK entering the rest of the European market."