Airbus warns no-deal Brexit could see it leave UK

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 22, 2018

Airbus employs about 14,000 people at 25 different sites in the UK.

Portsmouth's European Union citizens will be forced to pay a one-off fee to remain in Britain after Brexit, the government has announced.

It brings together the EU's 28 members in a duty-free area, with a common import tariff for non-EU goods.

While that is the government's intention, Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out staying in either for the longer term and there is growing fear that a deal may not be concluded in time.

The First Minister Carwyn Jones is due to hold talks with other United Kingdom ministers and political counterparts at a meeting of the British Irish Council in Guernsey later on Friday, where the issue is expected to be raised.

When Britain leaves the bloc next year, it will end the free-movement policy that lets European Union citizens live in any member state.

The pan-European firm said it would consider moving out of the United Kingdom if there is no transition deal involving ongoing membership of the Single Market and customs union.

It also said the current planned transition period to 2020 was too short for businesses to reorganise supply chains.

If there was no extension it would "carefully monitor any new investments in the United Kingdom and refrain from extending the United Kingdom suppliers/partners base", it said.

A Brexit "Risk Assessment" published on Thursday by Airbus has painted a grim picture of what a "No Deal" Brexit would look like for the European planemaker in the UK.

Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: "In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the United Kingdom aerospace industry and Airbus in particular".

"Without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our United Kingdom operations could be significant". We have sought to highlight our concerns over the past 12 months, without success. Far from 'Project Fear', this is a dawning reality for Airbus.

Airbus said it could not make decisions about new investment in Britain, including in its next generation of wings, without a clear Brexit deal.

"The enormous Airbus factory in north Wales is one of the jewels in the crown of United Kingdom manufacturing", said former Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb, the Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire. This is a wake-up call. A pragmatic, sensible Brexit that protects trade & jobs is vital'.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer hit out on Twitter, saying: 'If proof was needed that the PM's Brexit red lines need to be abandoned (and fast), this is it'.

The warnings from Airbus echo comments made on Wednesday by the boss of Siemens in the UK.

"The UK can not take the economic risk of cutting ourselves adrift", it said.

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