In the absence of an agreement on Brexit, Airbus president Tom Enders may have to make “painful decisions”. The group employs 14,000 people in the United Kingdom.
Is it a bluff or a real warning? In a video published by Airbus on January 23, 2019, Tom Enders threatens the United Kingdom in case of Brexit without agreement. The boss of the aeronautical giant could be led to make “painful decisions” :
“Do not listen to the madness of the Brexit fans who think that because we have huge industrial sites here, we will not move and we will always be there. They are wrong. Of course, it is impossible to move our large English factories immediately except that aeronautics is a long-term industry and we may have to reorient our future investments in the event of a Brexit agreement. And do not be deceived. There are many countries that would love to build the wings of Airbus aircraft.”
More than 14,000 employees
Airbus employs more than 14,000 people in the United Kingdom. “We do not depend on the UK for our future,” Tom Enders insists. “Airbus will survive whatever happens.” And to pretend to wonder: “Does the United Kingdom want to take part in our future success? ”
The European group Airbus, based in Toulouse , had already declared in a statement published in June 2018 that in case of Brexit , he would review his investments in the United Kingdom, without agreement on the conditions of exit from the country with the European Union ( EU). But this stance on the part of Tom Enders is unprecedented. It must be said that the industrialist would be very impacted in case of restoration of customs duties.
Customs duties, visas …
Asked by Actu Toulouse, Airbus recalls that “thousands of pieces come out and return to the British territory”: “A piece can easily make three trips back and forth between the United Kingdom and other European sites”. In 2018, some 1,600 wings are out of English factories . This activity could be repatriated to a production site in Toulouse or elsewhere in the world.
In terms of mobility within the group, Airbus has 80,000 trips a year in England . In the absence of an agreement on Brexit, the freedom of movement could be called into question, since employees must be in possession of a visa to join the United Kingdom.
One thing is certain, Airbus is not likely to launch a new program in England:
“The United Kingdom is known for its aviation skills. Today, this sector is on the precipice in the United Kingdom. Brexit threatens to destroy a century of development based on education, research and human capital. “