More than 5.5 million jobs in Europe are linked to exports to the UK     SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

German industry has broken ranks with Europe’s political establishment to call for Britain to be given a free trade deal if it votes to leave the European Union today.

EU leaders, including President Hollande of France yesterday, have lined up to deliver warnings to voters that Brexit would lock Britain outside Europe’s single market.

However, Markus Kerber, head of the powerful BDI, or federation of German industry, warned against the “regressive” introduction of tariffs.

“Imposing trade barriers, imposing protectionist measures between our two countries — or between the two political centres, the EU on the one hand and the UK on the other (CUTS)  Pay to read at The Times.

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The Times