European plane maker Airbus has issued its strongest warning yet over the potential impact of Britain's departure from the EU. It said a no-deal Brexit might threaten the company's future in the United Kingdom.
Airbus confirmed Friday the UK's exit from the European Union without a substantial withdrawal deal would force the aircraft manufacturer to reconsider its long-term position in the country and put thousands of British jobs at risk.
The company noted that current plans for a transition period ending in December 2020 were not good enough, leaving the plane maker with too little time to adapt its supply chain and preventing it from expanding its British supplier base.
Airbus makes wings for all its passenger jets in the UK. The company insisted that if Britain left both the EU's single market and customs union immediately and without any agreed transition, it would lead to "severe disruption and interruption of production."
No time to waste
"Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus's future in the UK," said Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
Echoing calls from German engineering giant Siemens earlier this week, Airbus said Friday it needed immediate details on how its operations would have to be realigned.
"We have to come to a point where we have to make decisions, and quite often those decisions are long-term in nature," Williams argued. "Without clarity, it's too dangerous for us to proceed."
Airbus in total supports roughly 100,000 jobs in Britain, with 14,000 people directly employed by the company there.
hg/uhe (Reuters, AFP)