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‘Who does he think he is?’ Britons rage at German business leader's Brexit ultimatum

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And other have suggested Mr Lang’s remarks reflect Germany’s alarm and the damage inflicted on its massive car manufacturing industry by Brexit. Speaking on Thursday, Mr Lang, the managing director of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson "cannot refuse" to act in accordance with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He explained: “Neither the British nor the EU are allowed to shake the treaty.

“Both sides must stand by their obligations without any ifs or buts.”

He added: “The British Government cannot refuse to act constructively in the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Angela Merkel Boris Johnson

Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, and PM Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)

Joachim Lang

Joachim Lang, managing director of the BDI (Image: GETTY)

Who do these people think they are?

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“Otherwise, everyone involved will have to fear tariff spirals and other countermeasures in trade policy.”

One, JustAsking, posted: “Who do these people think they are?

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Volkswagen

Volkswagen factory in Germany (Image: GETTY)

“A German Industrial leader thinking he can tell a Sovereign Country what we can and can't do.

“Their arrogance knows no bounds.”

Meanwhile, Anne Richardson asked: “Why are we under the power (laws) of a foreign state?

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Lord David Frost

Lord David Frost at the Tory Party conference (Image: GETTY)

Maros Sefcovic

Maros Sefcovic speaking in Brussels (Image: Sky News)

“We fought a world war so we would not be under the thumb of these bullies.

Referring to Volkswagen’s warning the 30,000 jobs in Germany could be jeopardised by Brexit, Steve Ward said: “Just a day after VW wets the bed cos we aren't buying their cars anymore.

“What could possibly make them believe they could spit in our faces then have us buy their goods.”

Post-Brexit EU trade landscape

Post-Brexit EU trade landscape (Image: GETTY)

Colin Price said: “I suppose losing billions of euros because we don't want your crap anymore and the patriotic brits are saying ‘we are not buying eu goods anymore’, yes I suppose that hurts.”

Thomas Richards pointed out: “The GB Pound is today nine percent higher than January 21 when we left the EU. Not doing so badly are we?

Nelson Montgomery said: “Joachim Lang is only shooting his mouth off because since the UK left the EU, German car sales have dropped 12.6 percent year on year and there is the possibility that VW will have to make 30,000 workers redundant.

BMW

BMW is another huge German car manufacturer (Image: GETTY)

“He’s only worried about his bank balance nothing else.”

The car manufacturing industry made up 26.7 percent of the total volume of trade between the UK and Germany in 2016 – but was slashed to less than a fifth (18.8 percent) in 2020.

Over the course of the last five years, German car exports have fallen by an average of 14.1 percent annually, and new registrations in Britain have dropped by an average of 11.8 percent.

Consequently, German exports almost halved in value between 2015 and 2020 - from €30.4billion to €16.4billion.