German Customs Officer Tells James O'Brien He's Being Re-Deployed To Cope With No-Deal Brexit

6 August 2019, 13:16

On the day that newspapers report the EU is "finally" accepting that a no-deal Brexit is possible, this German customs officer told James O'Brien he's already being redeployed to the north to cope with the UK leaving without a deal.

Marco, a German customs official, received an e-mail today saying he will have to move to northern Germany for work if there is a no -deal.

Speaking on LBC, he said: "I live in the south of Germany, I don't have a wife or children, that is why I was chosen and I will be commanded to northern Germany to some port, I cannot say where.

"We got an e-mail today that planning is getting real now. I will have to move to northern Germany, I have never worked there before."

James O'Brien replied: "This is evidence of preparations in Germany being well underway, although of course back in this country we're still being told that you don't believe us."

He also said: "On a personal level, that's quite disruptive, Marco."

Marco says as far as he understands, he will be given a flat in north Germany, paid for by the state.

UK is underestimating Brexit

Speaking about a no-deal scenario, that Germany is evidently preparing for, Marco said: "What I find fascinating about Brexit is two things are massively underestimated by the UK"

1) "If you want to do trade deals around the world, like with Japan, they will first want to know what access they have through the UK to the EU.

2) "You will be out of all EU agencies, and access to European space agencies will be terminated."

James O'Brien replied: "Yes we'll probably build our own rockets, and get Boris Johnson to paint them."

Better together in the EU

Marco discussed the benefits of European countries collaborating.

He said Europeanism is "for the future" and for "overcoming nationalism" and discussed the advantages of joint resources, such as the European Met Agency.

Marco said: "If you have with 27 other countries shared science and medicines and so on, you have a broader database and you can make better pharmacy and medicine."

James O'Brien agreed but said: "If I insert the observation that they think you're [Germany] our enemies, all the arguments about cooperation and community, strength in numbers, laws of economic gravity can actually be deflated.

"You've got this nonsense out there that we're still at war, therefore why would we want to be involved in a space programme or a medicine agency with our enemies?"

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James O'Brien interviewed the German customs official about no-deal Brexit preparations
James O'Brien interviewed the German customs official about no-deal Brexit preparations. Picture: LBC

Trading under WTO rules

James O'Brien went on to discuss what the German customs official will be doing if he is re-deployed to North Germany for work.

Marco said should he be redeployed in the event of a no-deal, he would have to prepare "for enhanced checks" on UK goods in trading.

Marco said the UK is currently trading under World Trade Organisation rules, and under WTO rules "you don't have any standards anymore."

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James O'Brien said "our government keeps talking about bilateral arrangements without explaining that these are measures put in place by individual European countries saying you can carry on [trading] as for we are for x weeks or x months, it's completely under their control."

He added that Brexit supporting politicians are already trying to offer it up as some sort of "fig leaf to disguise the disaster that's on the horizon."

James O'Brien thanked the German customs official for his time, said he hoped he would be given a good flat if he gets re-deployed in Germany, and concluded: "If that's not straight from the horse's mouth I don't know what is."

Watch the full exchange in the video at the top of this page.