Airbus says the non-agreement Brexit would threaten its role in the United Kingdom

PARIS / LONDON (Reuters) – Airbus ( AIR.PA ) issued its strongest warning about the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union, saying a withdrawal without an agreement would force it to reconsider its long-term position and put thousands of British jobs at risk.

A security guard stands at the entrance to the Airbus wing badembly plant in Broughton, near Chester, Great Britain, on June 22, 2018. REUTERS / Phil Noble

In a memorandum issued to Thursday, Airbus said current plans for a The transition period ending in December 2020 was still too short for the European aircraft manufacturer to adapt its supply chain and prevent it from expanding its base of British suppliers.

Airbus, which manufactures wings for all its pbadenger aircraft in Britain, said that leaving the EU's single market and customs union immediately and without an agreed transition would cause a "serious interruption and interruption" of production.

"In short, a scenario without treatment directly threatens the future of Airbus in the United Kingdom," said Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Two years after the Brexit vote, companies are beginning to talk about the uncertainty about the commercial and regulatory environment once Britain leaves the EU in March.

Echoing calls from Siemens of Germany ( SIEGn.DE ) earlier this week, Airbus said it needed immediate details on how its operations should be organized.


Airbus in total supports 100,000 jobs in Britain, with 14,000 people employed directly by the company, Williams said.

Airbus said it could not make decisions about new investments in Britain, even in its next generation of wings, without a clear Brexit agreement.

"We have to get to the point where we have to make decisions, and quite often those decisions are long-term and, without clarity, it's too dangerous for us to proceed," Williams told BBC radio on Friday. .

"When we look at the next generation of wings, which is called 'Wing of the future', we are working on that nowadays in development in the UK and clearly now we are seriously considering whether we should continue that development or find alternative solutions. "

Airbus builds wings at a state-of-the-art plant in Broughton, North Wales.

Slides (7 Images)

A spokeswoman for the British government said: "We have made significant progress towards the agreement of a deep and special partnership with the EU to ensure that trade remains as free and friction-free as possible. possible, even in the aerospace sector, and we hope to obtain a good deal that is mutually beneficial.

"Given the good progress we continue to make in the negotiations, we do not expect a scenario to arise without agreements."

Airbus, no However, it is already starting to push the button on its crisis actions, for example with respect to its supply chain.


In a document that states the risks related to Brexit, the company said that it would need an extra reserve of one billion euros to cope with the additional interruptions, warning in March that it would need to create a special buffer reserve. [19659004] Industry badysts say it is unlikely that Airbus will abruptly leave Britain due to long delivery times and a waiting list of up to eight years for its aircraft.

But competition is already expected to build wings for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft, whose development could begin in the middle of the next decade.

Germany, Spain or emerging aerospace providers such as South Korea are seen as potential candidates to take the job.

Airbus says it buys 16 percent of its parts of Britain. An important part of this expense goes to parts that can not be easily changed, such as the Rolls-Royce engines ( RR.L ). But the company says it can curb new spending in the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial vote in the British parliament on Wednesday, keeping divided her government plans to end more than 40 years of British badociation with the European Union.

However, talks with the bloc have almost stalled, and May's main team of ministers disagrees with plans for future trade relations with the EU. Companies complain that they can not plan their investment decisions.

Report by Tim Hepher and Paul Sandle; Edition of Leslie Adler and Keith Weir


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