Deutsche Bahn boss fears Brexit will cause delays, hurt business

DB-bahnBERLIN: The chief executive of state-owned German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said a British exit from the European Union would hit business as demand in Britain would fall and there could be delays for train services.

“Today you can travel from Germany or Poland to England via the Eurotunnel and send freight trains to Britain without any problems,” Ruediger Grube said in an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

“In future trains might have to wait at the border and that would cause train transport to become less competitive,” he added.

Deutsche Bahn runs rail and bus services in Britain as part of its Arriva international passenger transport business, while its Schenker freight and logistics arm also has a significant British operation.

“What’s clear is that Brexit has a negative impact on our business,” said Grube. Deutsche Bahn is calculating the effects of various different scenarios, he said.

He noted the fall in the value of the pound and said demand in Britain would decrease. There are also concerns that British political upheaval since the vote last month could deter foreign investors.

Britain voted in a referendum on June 23 to leave the bloc in a move that has hit global markets and pushed the pound to its lowest level against the dollar since the mid-1980s.