AEROSPACE giant Airbus is preparing to quit Britain due to fears of a hard Brexit, potentially putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk, it was reported last night.
The European aerospace company, said to generate £1.7billion a year in tax, is set to abandon plans to build aircraft wings at its British plants, according to The Times.
Production will be moved to China, the US or elsewhere in Europe, rather than taking place here as was previously hoped. Airbus, which has factories in Bristol, Portsmouth, Stevenage and Broughton in north Wales, employs 14,000 people in the UK while a further 110,000 jobs are supported by its supply chain.
Chief operating officer Tom Williams told the newspaper: ‘In the absence of any clarity, we have to assume the worst-case scenario.
‘It is the dawning realisation that we now have to get on with it.’
An internal risk assessment reportedly suggested reconsidering ‘footprint in the country, investments in the UK and dependency on the UK’ should Britain leave the EU on a ‘no-deal’ basis. The company is thought to be concerned necessary EU safety certifications could be put in doubt.
‘The extremely negative outcome for Airbus would be catastrophic,’ its assessment adds.
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