Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has issued yet another stark warning about the effect a no-deal Brexit would have on the aviation giant’s UK business.
In a video message, Enders urged Britain’s politicians not to listen to “the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong”.
He said Airbus, one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers with 14,000 employees in the UK, would be forced to make “potentially very harmful decisions” for its UK business in the event of a no-deal scenario.
Enders said the aerospace firm “could be forced to redirect future investments” in such a scenario, adding it was a “disgrace” that after more than two years since the referendum result, businesses are “still unable to plan properly for the future”.
“If you are really sure that Brexit is best for Britain, come together and deliver a pragmatic withdrawal agreement,” he added.
“Make no mistake, there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.”
Enders’ surprise intervention piles yet more pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to avert a no deal scenario, just days before a vote in parliament on her plan B for Brexit.
Last week, May’s initial deal struck with the EU was voted down in historic numbers my MPs, by 432 to 202 votes.
Enders’ comments contradict those of Britain’s international trade secretary and Brexiteer Liam Fox, who yesterday claimed delaying Brexit would be a worse outcome for the UK than no deal at all.
Extending Article 50 beyond the end of March would prove “calamitous” for politicians by breaching the public’s trust, Fox said.
Meanwhile, cancelling the UK’s departure from the EU altogether would be the “worst outcome”, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.