In a recent release of video message, European aerospace group Airbus’s CEO Tom Elders have called UK governments exit from the European Union a ‘disgrace’. He also warned that the company may be forced to take harmful decisions in case of a no-deal Brexit
The Leiden, Netherlands based aerospace giant is one of the largest manufacturers in the UK employing more than 14,000 people. Supply chain jobs numbering 110,000 depend on the company’s operations in the UK with an annual turnover of £6bn. The company also warned that it may abandon its investment plans to manufacture wings for its aircrafts in the UK. Airbus manufactures wings for its aircrafts in Broughton, north Wales. The facility employs more than 6,000 people while the company’s design and engineering site in Bristol employs 3,000.
The video message by the CEO of Airbus is another addition to the UK government’s headache as any move to shift manufacturing from UK will mean thousands of job losses. UK government is scrambling for ways to stop businesses form leaving UK post-Brexit. It is also considering to reduce the corporate tax rate from 19% to 17% which will effectively make UK a tax haven in Europe. The last week saw warning bells ringing from all quarters of business world. The ardent Brexit-backer James Dyson’s company announced shift of base to Singapore, while electronics giant Sony and Panasonic also reported shift of headquarters from UK to Amsterdam.
Although hardcore Brexiteers have rubbished Airbus’s warnings to move out of UK saying that as the group has huge manufacturing base here, they wouldn’t leave. A fitter working for Airbus said that the company has got orders for 20, 30 years, they wouldn’t be able to close their bases immediately. Enders said that it has huge factories in the UK, the company can’t afford to move immediately but aircraft manufacturing being a long term business, Brexit may force the redirection of future investments to other parts of the world. He added ‘’make no mistake, there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.”
Airbus had previously supported Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Deal but the parliament struck down the deal with record margin. The country is political and economic chaos in the event of a very likely no-deal Brexit. Ender’s warned that UK has no chance of sustaining in a globalized economy and that Brexit will undo decades of development based on human capital, research and education. Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay said that he has taken the Elder’s warning ‘’very seriously’’.