in Aerospace

Airbus publishes Brexit risk assessment

Posted 22 June 2018 · Add Comment

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



Above:
Airbus HQ in Toulouse.
Courtesy
Airbus

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.

This scenario would force Airbus 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, 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. 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. Far from Project Fear, this is a dawning reality for Airbus. Put simply, a No Deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK.”

ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “This announcement is extremely worrying for the aerospace sector in the UK and shows the risks facing our manufacturing base as uncertainty continues over our future relationship with the EU after Brexit.

“Airbus is one of many businesses who are beginning to implement contingency plans and make decisions on future investment based on the worst case scenario.

“There are 15,000 Airbus employees in the UK working at some of the most competitive and efficient sites in the company’s network of facilities around the world. This is a troubling time for them and for those in the company’s extensive supply chain in the UK.

“It is now vital that the Government and EU negotiators work hard to reach pragmatic and creative solutions to make sure that the UK maintains regulatory alignment with the EU and the frictionless customs arrangements that industry depends upon to compete in global markets.”


To see the Airbus statement in full, click
here
 

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