Airbus chief denies threat to quit UK

Airbus chief denies threat to quit UK

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has denied reports that the aircraft manufacturer has threatened to shift production from Britain if the UK pursues a ‘hard’ Brexit.

The business newspaper the Financial Times reported this week that Airbus had “reiterated its warning [that] it would shift production overseas”.

It reported: “Tom Enders, chief executive of the group, stressed the importance of having a free flow of people across Europe, while chief operating officer Tom Williams said there had been plenty of offers to build a new plant elsewhere [than Britain].”

Airbus employs about 10,000 people in the UK.

However, Enders insisted: “I did not say we could move 10,000 jobs. I said we need to remain competitive.”

Appearing alongside EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall at a ceremony in Toulouse to mark delivery of the first Airbus A320 neo aircraft to the airline, Enders said: “I was talking of the need to move our workforce around Europe as flexibly as possible.”

He said: “We need as few new barriers as possible and as much flexibility as possible, as we have today.”

Enders added: “I have confidence that any UK government will have the same interest.”

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