Siemens' boss Jurgen Maier on Question Time says UK needs to 'damn well get a good Brexit deal'

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 May 2017

Siemens' UK boss has called for "more understanding" on both sides in the Government's negotiations with the EU over Brexit.

Speaking on the BBC's Question Time last night, Jurgen Maier said the UK needed to "damn well get a good deal".

The technology giant, which currently employs 800 workers at its Hull blade factory, publicly supported the Remain campaign before the referendum last year.

And in light of heightened tensions this week between Prime Minister Theresa May and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr Maier called for a conciliatory note to be struck.

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"What we need above all is a little bit more calm and we need a little bit more rational debate," he said.

"That doesn't mean it can't be difficult. Clearly there are going to be difficult players on both sides. What's going to get us through these very important and very difficult negotiations is if both sides spend more time trying to understand each other's position, and that also means that we in the UK have to spend more time understanding where the EU is coming from on this.

"If we do that, we've got a chance of getting a good deal and we damn well need to get a good deal."

Mr Maier, who is of Austrian descent but grew up in the UK, also aired strong views on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in response to a question from an audience member about the Labour leader's portrayal in the media.

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He said: "Jeremy Corbyn is clearly a man of strong conviction. I think in terms of business what I would like to see is a little bit less of 'Business is nasty' and 'You don't pay your taxes'.

"Of course we know there are incidents of that but the truth is business is a huge value creator. When you take all our corporation tax, National Insurance - all those taxes - three quarters of all the taxes raised in the country are generated by business. I'd like to see a bit more partnership of how we can work together."

Brexit Secretary and MP for Howden and Haltemprice David Davis was also on the panel last night, alongside Rebecca Long-Bailey from Labour, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall and Leanne Wood from Welsh nationalists' Plaid Cymru.

Mr Davis accused the EU Commission of "trying to bully the British people", and claimed that voters were "very lucky" to have Theresa May leading negotiations.

Mrs Long-Bailey meanwhile, defended her leader, saying Jeremy Corbyn would "transform" the UK if elected Prime Minister.

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