Posted: Wed 20th May 2015

EU referendum: Airbus chief warns investment and jobs would be under threat if Britain pulled out.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

“Future investment could be jeopardised by a British withdrawal from the European Union.”

That was the message coming from Paul Kahn, the ‎UK president of Airbus Group tonight, Wednesday 20 May.

Khan, addressing a Wales in London event warned 150,000 to 200,000 jobs in Wales were dependent on Europe.

The ‎UK boss of the Airbus Group, said the a so-called ‘Brexit’ risked damaging the UK as a destination for future projects.

Khan stressed there is no immediate threat to UK jobs at Airbus, 6000 of which are in Broughton he did say however “its vital for a company like Airbus to come out and make a stand in favour of Britain remaining in the EU.”

Khan reaffirmed the Airbus position which does not appear to have changed pre-election, if Britain did exit the European Union and economic conditions in were less favourable for business than in other parts of Europe, Airbus would reconsider future investment in the UK?

05R-CITY FOCUS

Speaking to Sky Mr Kahn said:

“If Britain were to leave the EU, would we suddenly close our factory in Broughton? No. With the barriers to entry that exist and the need for people with skill, passion and commitment, demanded by this type of advanced manufacturing, it would be impossible for us to start making our winds somewhere else for a number of years.”

Airbus is by far Deeside and Flintshire’s largest employer at the flagship Broughton plant and invests around £500m a year in British research and technology.

The question of whether Airbus would up sticks and move from the UK if there was an EU exit became a key issue in the general election locally with claim and counter between Labour and UKIP candidates.

Alyn and Deeside UKIP candidate Blair Smillie claimed Labour activists had been out in force spreading rumour and fear in the Broughton and Saltney area by telling voters Airbus would leave the country if Britain quit the EU following a referendum.

Has something changed?  

Political blogger GuidoFawkes has a view he tweeted:

“Rolling big business BS coordinated by CBI continues with Airbus pretending it would rip up contracts post Brexit.”

Last year Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier’s spoke about a possible exit and the companies position, he said:

“in the UK I will look at two parameters: the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar and the second one is the UK government continuing support for the development of the aerospace industry.”

Bregier said Airbus was very pleased with all the initiatives from the UK Government, and did not believe that would change if Britain left the EU.

“… I believe that if these two parameters are stable there would be no reason for Airbus to change our strategy in the UK…” said Bregier.

We “have no intention to duplicate all this expertise,” he said.

 

 

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