Airbus may make 'harmful decisions' for UK in event of no-deal Brexit
PUBLISHED: 11:42 24 January 2019
Airbus boss Tom Enders has said the business may have to make "harmful decisions for the UK" should there be a 'no-deal' Brexit, potentially affecting 1,200 employees in Stevenage.
Speaking to the Mirror, the chief executive said it was a “disgrace” that so long after the 2016 referendum, businesses could still not plan for the future due to Brexit uncertainties
“If there’s a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK,” he said.
“This would be ironic considering that back in the 1990s it was UK industry that were the architects of creator European aerospace integration.
“Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers madness which asserts that because we have huge plans here we will not move and we will always be. They are wrong.
“Of course it is not possible to pick up and move our large UK factories to other parts of the world immediately. However, aerospace is a long term business, and we could be forced to redirect future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“And make no mistakes, there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.
“In a global economy, the UK no longer has the capability to go it alone. Major aerospace projects are multi-national affairs.
“It is a disgrace that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future.
“And we, along with many of our peers, have repeatedly called for clarity. But we still have no idea what is really going on here.
“Airbus will survive and thrive whatever the outcome. The question is, does the UK wish to be a part of that future success?
“If you’re really sure that Brexit is the best for Britain, come together and deliver a pragmatic withdrawal agreement that allows for an orderly Brexit.”
Airbus has approximately 1,200 employees at its Defence and Space site in Stevenage’s Gunnels Wood Road, with more than 14,000 employees across the UK, and 110,000 more jobs in supply chains.
East of England MEP Alex Mayer said: “No one who voted for Brexit voted to threaten high-quality local jobs. We are getting almost daily warnings from businesses trying desperately to get the government to come out of its stupor and act, rather than just let the clock run down.
“Crashing out of the EU without a deal would have devastating consequences for jobs.
“The Prime Minister should urgently rule out a no-deal Brexit.”