Firm plans to forge EU partnership, despite Brexit

A Yorkshire company is in talks which could lead to a lucrative partnership with a German firm, despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote.

Murray Angus of Proton Group. Copyright Matthew Lloyd

Senior staff from German cleaning products manufacturer, Calvatis, flew to West Yorkshire after the result of the UK’s EU Referendum vote was announced, to start exploratory talks about setting up a joint enterprise with the Proton Group.

If successful, the talks could see Calvatis, which manufactures cleaning, and disinfection products and hygiene management systems for industrial use, establish a trading base in Yorkshire in return for the Proton Group gaining a trading platform in Germany. Proton Group, which is based in Normanton, West Yorkshire, and employs 24 staff, supplies a wide range of specialist hygiene items for cleaning and disinfecting draught dispensing equipment.

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Overseas trade specialists at Chamber International, which works with Proton Group, said the talks are an example of how the strong reputation of UK firms can overcome hurdles thrown up by the Brexit decision.

Proton Group managing director, Murray Angus, said: “Calvatis has a network of trading partners in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and South Africa and, as they do not have a UK presence, approached us with a view to forming a trade partnership, so they may establish a market in the UK for their products and offer a trading platform for us in Germany. 

“We are already active in Europe but recognise there is a lot more potential for us there. As we have a reputation for the production and supply of high-quality products, Calvatis’ approach was not a surprise, even though we knew them before this. This is evidence that, in spite of the Brexit vote, UK-EU trade, can continue, hopefully as close to before as possible. The attitude of our two businesses is that it is ‘business as usual’.  If the UK continues to supply products and services which are of value to other countries, I cannot see why Brexit should have a major impact.”

Calvatis GmbH export sales director, Hans Graumans, said: “The UK Brexit vote was a surprise, and will give some extra hurdles, but we still believe in trade possibilities with the UK as we have partners in other countries with difficult circumstances for trading. We would never let an issue such as the UK’s Brexit vote get in the way of trading with UK companies.”