Air, Business, Freight News

We could leave UK if no Brexit deal, warns Airbus

[ June 22, 2018   //   ]

There are “urgent risks” to Airbus’ operations if the UK leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement, warned the plane-maker in a statement published on 21 June.

Airbus, which makes aircraft wings at Broughton on the Wales-England border near Chester, warned that the UK leaving both the single market and customs union immediately next year and without any agreed transition “would lead to severe disruption and interruption of its UK production”, forcing it “to reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country”.

Further, it warns that the current planned transition (which ends in December 2020) is too short for the EU and UK Governments to agree the outstanding issues, or for Airbus to implement the required changes in its supply chain. “In this scenario, Airbus would carefully monitor any new investments in the UK and refrain from extending the UK suppliers/partners base.” It warned.

Chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, Tom Williams, commented: “In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the UK aerospace industry and Airbus in particular. Therefore, immediate mitigation measures would need to be accelerated. While Airbus understands that the political process must go on, as a responsible business we require immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively.”

Airbus also complained that it had highlighted its concerns over the past 12 months, but without success, adding: “Far from Project Fear, this is a dawning reality for Airbus. Put simply, a No Deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK.”

As well as a major employer, Airbus is also one of the main generators of international freight traffic in North Wales, sending aircraft components to its other European plants by outsized Beluga freighter aircraft and by dedicated ro ro vessel from the nearby port of Mostyn.

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