Airbus CEO brands Brexit uncertainty a ‘disgrace’

Tom Enders, the Airbus CEO, has branded the uncertainty surrounding Brexit a ‘disgrace’ and warned that a no-deal scenario could see the company move its production from the UK.

In a blunt three-minute address to camera, Enders said that Airbus is not reliant on the UK and that in the long term the company would be likely to redirect investment away from the country if there is a disorderly Brexit.

“It is a disgrace that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future,” said Enders.

“If there is a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK, which would be ironic, as back in the mid-1990s it was UK industry that were the architects and creators of European aerospace integration.”

“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 redirect 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.”

According to Enders, Airbus employs more than 14,000 people directly in the UK and supports an additional 110,000 jobs via the supply chain. Its UK operations generate around £6bn of revenue each year.

“The global market for aviation is growing at five per cent each year, but we are not dependent on the UK for our future,” the Airbus CEO continued. “Airbus will survive and thrive whatever the outcome. The question is, does the UK wish to be a part of that future success?”