RAF

Airbus Brands Government A 'Disgrace' And Threatens To Leave UK In Event Of No-Deal Brexit

Airbus is the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force.

The head of Airbus has torn into the Government's handling of Brexit, branding it a "disgrace" and warned that the company could pull out of the UK if its ability to compete on the global stage is harmed by a no-deal departure.

Tom Enders, chief executive of the aerospace giant, said a no-deal Brexit could force Airbus to make "potentially very harmful decisions" about its UK operations.

The company currently employs more than 14,000 people in the UK with around 110,000 more jobs connected in supply chains.

In a video message, Mr Enders said:

"In a global economy, the UK no longer has the capability to go it alone. Major aerospace projects are multinational affairs."

The government has responded, saying the UK is a world leader in aerospace and it remains a “top priority” to leave the EU with a good deal that protects jobs.

RAF Airbus A400M Atlas
RAF Airbus A400M Atlas taking part in the Royal international Air Tattoo (Picture: RAF)

Airbus is the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force as well as a leading provider of military satellite communications and cyber-security contracts.

Both the RAF's A330 Voyager and Atlas A400M are made by the aviation giant, with 22 A400m transporter planes on order for delivery in 2021.

The Voyager's wings are built and assembled at the company's largest site, Broughton in North Wales, employing 6,000 on that site alone.

The company also manufactures parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon.

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It is not the first time the company has warned it could pull out of the UK if the country leaves the EU single market and customs union without a Brexit deal.

Its UK operations generate around £6 billion of turnover annually, making it the country's largest aerospace company.

At its 25 sites, it builds components for a broad spectrum of products from planes to helicopters and satellites.