Industry

24 JAN 2019

AIRBUS THREATENS TO MOVE WING-BUILDING OUT OF UK IN THE EVENT OF A NO-DEAL BREXIT

Airbus bosses have warned how they believe a no-deal Brexit would lead to "chaos at the borders" and force the plane making company to move its plants out of the UK as a result of ruptured trade links with Europe.

The aviation giant has launched the fierce attack on the government as the country continues to sleepwalk towards the 29 March exit date. In a video posted on its website, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said the firm "will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK" should the country leave the EU without a deal.

Enders said a disorderly split would cause Airbus to redirect future investment and mean it could not guarantee that its existing factories would remain in place like Wales and Bristol. Lambasting the government, the CEO said it was a "disgrace" that businesses could still not plan for Brexit.

In the video, Enders says: Please don't listen to the Brexiteers' madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong. And make no mistake, there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft. Brexit is threatening to destroy a century of development based on education, research and human capital. The UK's aerospace sector now stands at the precipice, if there is a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK."

Although, the firm’s headquarters is located in Toulouse, France, Airbus still have a big presence in the UK and employs 14,000 people, including 6,000 jobs at its main wings factory in Broughton, Wales, as well as 3,000 at Filton, near Bristol.

Responding to the warning in parliament, UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay insisted the government had took note and recognised the need for certainty. "What the chief executive and others in the business community are clear on is that they want a deal to avoid the uncertainty of no deal and that is why he is backing the prime minister," Barclay added. 

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