The EU should offer Britain an "association agreement" after Brexit, similar to the ones it has with Ukraine or Georgia, European legislators said Wednesday.
Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking during a debate on Brexit in the European Parliament this morning ahead of a vote on future UK EU relations tomorrow.
The German business will begin implementing extraordinary plans if Britain and the European Union (EU) do not agree next week on the transition period.
German companies are still preparing for a range of outcomes to the negotiations between Britain and the European Union, including the scenario of a hard Brexit in which no agreement was reached, Mr Lang said.
And the issue of the Irish Republic's border with Northern Ireland also remains a thorny issue.
"It's obvious that we need further clarity if we're going to reach an understanding on our future relationship", he said.
Mr Juncker was heckled by one MEP who shouted "it is a British issue".
BDI chief Lang said: "The minimum requirement for German companies is trade in goods without customs duties or quotas, ideally in a customs union".
Any less comprehensive free-trade agreement in lieu of customs union membership would carry the risk of logistical bottlenecks and inevitably lead to an increase in the cost and bureaucratic burden associated with trade, he added.
"It is our responsibility to detail operationally how we will avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland without another solution and bearing in mind the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the single market and the customs union", he said.
Other sticking points will be avoiding a hard border in Ireland, as well as securing citizens' rights.
Overall, he added, "it is time to face up to the hard facts". "That can not happen", the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt told Euronews.
"The UK is choosing to leave the union, the single market and the customs union, we have noted that". "It's now time to translate speeches into treaties, turn commitments into agreements, and to move from the soundbite, broad suggestions and wishes on the future relationship to specific, workable solutions".
The former UKIP and Brexit leader, who has been a Member of the European Parliament for 19 years, said the bloc under its current leadership was based on the principles of "power without accountability".