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Airbus gives Brexit warning
Filton Composite Manufacturing Assembly © Airbus

Airbus gives Brexit warning

Airbus has published a risk assessment outlining the urgent risks to its business arising from the UK exiting the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

Amidst the continuing absence of clarity about post-Brexit trading conditions, Airbus has published a risk assessment outlining the urgent risks to its business arising from the UK exiting the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

It states that the UK exiting the EU next year without a deal – therefore leaving both the single market and customs union immediately and without any agreed transition – would lead to severe disruption and interruption of UK production.

UK aerospace trade association ADS says it is already seeing a significant impact on UK companies in supply chains because of Brexit, particularly smaller companies being asked to increase stocks

Airbus says the “no deal” scenario would force it to reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country, severely undermining UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, developing high-value jobs and competences.

On the future trade relationship between the UK and EU, the Memorandum makes clear that while an orderly Brexit with a withdrawal agreement is preferable to a no-deal scenario, the current planned transition (which ends in December 2020) is too short for the EU and UK Governments to agree the outstanding issues, and too short for Airbus to implement the required changes with its extensive supply chain. In this scenario, Airbus would carefully monitor any new investments in the UK and refrain from extending the UK suppliers/partners base.

Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, called for immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively, adding: “Without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant. We have sought to highlight our concerns over the past 12 months, without success … Put simply, a No Deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK.”

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