This is why Theresa May`s Secretary of State for Business visited BMW´s headquarters in Munich to lobby for BMW`s plant in Oxford.

Exactly one year after the Brexit vote, on June 22, 2017, a group of renowned employment lawyers from leading law firms met in Frankfurt to discuss recent developments and trends in German and EU labor and employment law (WoltersKluwer` Round Table Arbeitsrecht). Brexit and its potential employment consequences in Germany and the EU were (of course) among the key topics. Even if it is still too early to detail the consequences, the exit procedures are officially underway. What is clear is Brexit will substantially impact the freedom of movement for workers and the freedom of establishment.

There is little doubt a so-called “Hard Brexit” will result in thousands of job losses in the German Automotive industry, with every 5th exported German car currently being shipped to the UK. Also, in the past, global players like BMW invested billions in the UK. With Brexit going forward, it is now questionable whether German manufactures will proceed with new project lines in the UK. Jobs will be at risk on both sides of the English Channel.

Clients are well advised to monitor closely how the developments of Brexit-related changes impact employment law. There is a lack of majority of the Conservatives in British Parliament and open questions remain, including whether:

  • the announced broad exit from employee friendly EU legislation will actually occur;
  • as a general rule converted UK law will depart from EU based rights and protections for employees;
  • EU employees may continue to work in the UK and vice versa;
  • visa and work permit requirements may become new necessary burdens;
  • separate national legal entities will need to be set up locally but under a centralized matrix management;
  • data transfer in line with leasing employees across borders will result in complex and strict regulations; and
  • global players and in particular US companies will abandon their current avenue of market entry into the EU via Great Britain?