If the United Kingdom secures itself from the European Union without a trade agreement, this could endanger Airbus’s investment plans in the country. That’s what CEO Guillaume Faury said at a conference in Montreal on Tuesday.
Whether investment is being made in Britain depends, according to the Frenchman, on how easy it is to do business with the country after the Brexit. For the time being, the aircraft manufacturer has no plans to close or reorganise its British factories, which make wings for all passenger aircraft. Faury also said that the company will find a way to deal well with a no-deal scenario. “It would be much better to have a Brexit with a deal. But if there is no deal, we will have to live with it,” says the top man.
The former CEO of Airbus Tom Enders was very critical of the Brexit at the beginning of last year. According to Enders, Airbus could decide to leave the country if there was a no-deal Brexit. Faury has taken a more balanced stance since taking over from Enders in April 2019. Airbus employs some 12,500 people in the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, discussed a trade agreement at length on Sunday. This resulted in the extension of the negotiations to reach an agreement. The British officially left the EU on 1 February. Since then, there has been a transitional period during which they still comply with EU rules, but that period ends on 31 December.