Airbus boss blasts “Brexiteers’ madness”
24 / 01 / 2019
Airbus boss Tom Enders has launched a Brexit blast, stating that the UK’s aerospace sector “now stands at the precipice” and warned that the planemaker could move its UK factories abroad.
The chief executive of Europe’s largest airframe manufacturer urged people to ignore the “Brexiteers’ madness” saying that Brexit – when the UK leaves the European Union in 64 days – is “threatening to destroy a century of development based on education, research and human capital”.
Tough talking Enders warned: “If there is a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK."
He added: “Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong. Of course, it is not possible to pick up and move our large UK factories to other parts of the world immediately.
“However, aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to re-direct future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And make no mistake there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.”
Airbus has more 14,000 employees in the UK with a further 110,000 working in jobs supported by its UK programmes, which generates around £6bn of turnover every year.
In a highly political Philippic, Enders said that in a global economy, the UK “no longer has the capability to go it alone. Major aerospace projects are multi-national affairs”.
He called it a “disgrace” that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are "still unable to plan properly" for the future.
“And we, along with many of our peers, have repeatedly called for clarity. But, we still have no idea what is really going on here.”
Tom Enders’ video message can be accessed here