Airbus warns of 'catastrophic' EU exit
Airbus said yesterday it would have to make “difficult decisions” about future investment if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, adding it had already spent tens of millions of euros in preparations.
“There is no such thing as a managed ‘no deal,’ it’s absolutely catastrophic for us,” senior vice president Katherine Bennett said.
“Some difficult decisions will have to be made if there’s no-deal ... we will have to look at future investments.
“We’ve spent tens of millions of euros on readiness, for example stockpiling parts, looking at the IT systems, working out how our employees will be able to cross over the many 80,000 journeys they make every year as part of our integrated European business.”
Airbus, the world’s second-largest aerospace group, employs 14,000 people in Britain, including 6,000 at its main wings factory at Broughton, Wales, and 3,000 in Filton, western England, where wings are designed and supported.
Critics of previous warnings by Airbus have cast doubt on whether the France-based group would move significant operations out of Britain, arguing Broughton is an efficient factory and that the case for staying is buoyed by a weak sterling.
The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, but so far has not bedded down an exit deal.