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14,000 Airbus jobs at stake over Brexit

The aircraft manufacturer is warning that a no-deal Brexit could force it out of the UK.

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus says it may have to leave the UK, where it has 14,000 employees at 25 different sites, if the country exits the European Union single market and customs union without a transition deal, the BBC reports.

The warning, it says, is not part of “project fear” but a “dawning reality”, echoing the concerns of many other businesses over the continuing insecurity surrounding Brexit.

In the UK the company makes wings for the A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 aircraft and is currently working on developing a ‘next generation’ of wings.

Risk assessment
Airbus has published a Brexit “risk assessment” that says that if the UK leaves the EU next year without a deal it will “lead to severe disruption and interruption of UK production” – a scenario that would force Airbus to reconsider its investments in the UK.

To avoid this, an Airbus executive told the BBC in an interview that a decision must be made this summer, as time is running out for contingency measures to be put in place.

Whatever the scenario, Brexit will have “severe negative consequences” for the UK aerospace industry and for Airbus in particular, Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said.

“Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK,” he added.

Parts of UK industry face extinction unless the UK remains in the EU customs union, the president of the Confederation of British Industry said last week.

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