Airbus warns UK over EU withdrawal

Airbus warns the UK of 'huge' economic risks if they withdraw from the EU

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

French Aerospace giant airbus has intervened in the debate over the United Kingdom’s future in the European Union, warning the UK of ‘huge’ losses if they chose to leave the union.

Airbus has major manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister David Cameron prior to the British elections this year promised to give the British a simple “in or out” referendum by 2017.

Airbus currently employs 16,000 people in the UK and a decision to leave the EU would put those jobs at risk.   

A decision to quit the EU would also raise doubts about Airbus' long-term future investments in the country, the company's top UK representative said, although the time needed to transfer manufacturing skills meant it could not easily shift its current operations. Airbus employs 16,000 people in the UK.

Paul Kahn, president of Airbus Group UK, said in a speech to Welsh business leaders on Wednesday, "I don’t believe that there is anyone who has run a global business who can truly, and clearly, argue that there will be greater value and economic benefit outside of the EU, as opposed to in it."

Airbus is the second largest aerospace constructor in the world, following Boeing. The production line in Wales is in charge of making aeroplane wings for all of its carriers. It brings in 9 billion dollars of revenue into the UK every year.

Airbus warned the UK after a strong business lobby group initiated plans to advocate the UK to stay in the European Union by telling the public that it is the best way forward for prosperity.

Airbus UK chief Paul Kahn has said that leaving the EU would have ‘huge’ economic consequences.

"In Wales alone, some 150-200,000 jobs could be directly impacted if Britain were to leave."

"If after an exit from the European Union, economic conditions in Britain were less favourable for business than in other parts of Europe, or beyond; would Airbus reconsider future investment in the United Kingdom? Yes, absolutely," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies