Aviation giant Airbus yesterday reiterated its threat to leave Britain if the country exits the European Union without an agreement on future trading relations, noting that the company is already taking steps to mitigate a worst-case scenario.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders was candid about his frustration with the government’s lack of progress in talks with the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May met with her Cabinet yesterday in an effort to hammer out a unified position on Brexit more than two years after the country voted to leave the bloc.
Enders stressed that Brexit in any form is damaging to business and to the UK. “The sun is shining brightly on the U.K., the English team is progressing towards the World Cup final ... the Royal Air Force is preparing to celebrate its centenary and her majesty’s government still has no clue, or at least no consensus, on how to execute Brexit without severe harm,” he told reporters yesterday.
The company, which employs about 14,000 people at 25 sites in the UK, has said it will “reconsider its long-term footprint in the country” if there is no deal. Other companies, such as Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have also expressed grave concern in recent weeks because of the lack of clarity of future arrangements.
“Rest assured we are taking first preparations as we speak.”