Brexit: Airbus backs Theresa May on Chequers - and demands 'pragmatism' from Brussels

Catherine Neilan
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Enders last week claimed the UK government had "no clue" (Source: Getty)

Airbus boss Tom Enders has backed Theresa May's Chequers policy - and thrown the gauntlet down to Brussels to show pragmatism to secure a trade deal.

Enders told a German Chamber of Commerce event in London last night that the new approach - in which the UK will agree to a common rulebook on goods in order to secure frictionless trade “appears to show that the government are going in the right direction”.

He added: “We are not shy to request that Brussels and our other home countries are similarly pragmatic and fair.”

Just last week he claimed the government had "no clue, no consensus on how to execute Brexit without severe harm" following his company's warning that it would pull out of the UK in the event of a no deal.

That intervention led to a split in the government, with former health secretary - now foreign secretary - Jeremy Hunt saying it was "inappropriate". At the same time Boris Johnson was overheard saying "f*** business".

That forced May and her business secretary Greg Clark into an embarrassing position of having to restate the Conservative party's commitment to business, and the value the government placed on the voice of industry in the Brexit process.

May's policy, agreed on Friday, has been backed by other business groups. However it led to the resignations of Brexit secretary David Davis, Brexit minister Steve Baker and foreign secretary Johnson yesterday.

The government will publish its delayed Brexit white paper, outlining further details, on Thursday.

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