Air­bus chief ex­ec­u­tive warns Bri­tain over Brexit un­cer­tainty

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

AIR­BUS WANTS Bri­tain to pro­vide more clar­ity over the coun­try’s fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the Euro­pean Union, or risk los­ing in­vest­ment, the Euro­pean plane­maker’s CEO said.

“We must have more clar­ity on the UK’s long-term re­la­tion­ships, not just for the next 20 months,” CEO Tom En­ders said in an opin­ion

Fi­nan­cial Times piece in the on Wed­nes­day.

“Bri­tain must recog­nise that fu­ture in­vest­ments are not a given.”

His com­ments come less than a month after Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May agreed a tran­si­tion deal with Euro­pean lead­ers to keep ex­ist­ing trade ties un­changed for 21 months after Brexit, a move seen by politi­cians as a way of providing busi­nesses with cer­tainty.

But Mr En­ders said Bri­tain needed to go fur­ther. He called for Bri­tain to re­main part of the EU avi­a­tion safety cer­ti­fi­ca­tion agency, EASA, to al­low Air­bus’s planes to gain the nec­es­sary ap­provals to let them fly, and said that its busi­ness de­pended on air­craft parts and peo­ple be­ing able to move freely be­tween its sites across the UK and Europe.

Air­bus em­ploys 15,000 in Bri­tain where it makes all the wings for its com­mer­cial air­craft.

Mr En­ders also said that there needed to be an agree­ment cov­er­ing se­cu­rity, de­fence and space pro­grammes be­tween Bri­tain and the EU, call­ing for deals to “ce­ment this co-oper­a­tion”.

“It is no good mak­ing the right noises. We need a plan that comes from the UK but is also ac­cepted by the EU27,” he said.

“Within these ne­go­ti­a­tions, the EU will need to of­fer some flex­i­bil­ity but the UK must also be re­al­is­tic in its demands; prag­ma­tism must trump pride.”

Air­bus has 25 sites in Bri­tain and spends more than £5bn with UK sup­pli­ers.

TOM EN­DERS: ‘Bri­tain must recog­nise that fu­ture in­vest­ments are not a given.’

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