Airbus’ chief executive has said that the aerospace company is still “committed” to the UK, in a turnaround from previous comments on Brexit.
Speaking at the company’s New Year’s reception last night, Guillaume Faury said that he saw “great potential to improve and expand our operations in the UK this year.”
Read more: Airbus announces mammoth Middle East orders
Faury added: “Airbus is committed to the UK and to working with the new government on an ambitious industrial strategy.”
The firm is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers, employing around 13,500 people at sites across the country.
Last year Airbus’ former chief executive, Tom Enders, said that the firm would be faced with “potentially very harmful decisions” for its UK business in the event of a no-deal scenario.
Business minister Andrea Leadsom, who was also at the event, welcomed Faury’s comments, saying it was “great to hear [him] say that Airbus remains committed to the UK.
“Please rest assured that we also remain absolutely committed to Airbus – and to the industry as a whole”, she added.
Fears over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit have all but vanished after Boris Johnson’s commanding General Election victory last month.
MPs today voted to pass Johnson’s withdrawal deal, meaning the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 January with an agreement in place.
The firm which builds its wings in the UK, was a particularly vocal critic of turmoil the negotiations have caused for businesses.
Looking forward, Faury, who took up his role in April last year, said: “While global uncertainty won’t end with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Brexit is, at least, now for certain.”