June 26, 2020 / 8:58 AM / 14 days ago

Almost a third of German firms expect no-deal Brexit: survey

FILE PHOTO: European Union and British flags flutter in front of a chancellery ahead of a visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin, Germany, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Some 30% of German companies fear Britain and the European Union will fail to reach a deal on their future relationship before a transition period that ends on Dec. 31, a survey published on Friday showed.

The May survey by accounting firm Deloitte and German industry association BDI of 248 German companies with interests in Britain found that 25% expected talks to be extended.

About 26% said they expected the two sides to reach a free trade deal by the end of the year and 18% said they believed the EU and Britain will reach a basic framework agreement that will be finalised next year.

Britain and the EU, which remain far apart with only a few months until a deal must be reached, have intensified talks on a trade deal that would replace ties severed by Brexit.

A transition period, during which Britain remains in the EU single market and customs union, expires at the end of the year. A no deal is a scenario feared by many firms as it would translate into high tariffs on products and services and cause major disruptions to the movement of people and goods.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Michelle Martin

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