Brexit leader Nigel Farge has said Airbus’ intervention in the Brexit debate is politically motivated after the aviation giant threatened to pull out of the UK unless business ties with the European Union (EU) are maintained.
The European multinational corporation released a “risk assessment” this Friday, threatening close it’s British factories if the government allows a “no deal” Brexit or leaves the bloc without a long “transition period.”
The firm – which employs 14,000 people at 25 sites across the UK – appeared to anticipate the intervention would be perceived as an attempt to keep the UK tied to the EU’s customs union and trade regulations, denying they were pushing “Project Fear” in a press release.
Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer of the firm, commented: “In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the UK aerospace industry and Airbus in particular.”
However, former UKIP leader Mr Farage described Airbus as “a very political project” and pointed out they receive large amounts of money from Brussels.
“Airbus, clearly, is a very political project the way its been designed. Funded, of course, by European Union money,” he said on BBC Daily Politics, claiming Airbus is in fact “expanding their operations in the United Kingdom.”
I’ve been around all the media broadcasters this morning and none of them knew the extent of EU funding in Airbus. We need better quality reporting .
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 22, 2018
Speaking earlier, he said it was “hardly surprising Airbus are threatening us today when they’ve taken billions in EU funding” as he also questioned whether the company would pull out of the UK.
He told Sky News: “Twenty years ago I heard car manufacturers saying if Britain didn’t join the euro they may well consider pulling out of Britain – Nissan, others like that.
“We build the wings in this country. If they close down production it would take them at least two years to put that back in place somewhere in France or Germany.
“Big business will always lobby for their interests, of course, they will. I understand that”
The unelected European Commission was recently criticised for blocked talks between UK and EU aviation agencies, so they can plan how to keep flights and trade moving in “no-deal” situation.
An industry source told The Times the Commission was putting politics above the interests of the people it claims to represent. “This is purely about a negotiating strategy,” the source said.
Airbus set to pull investment from Britain over Brexit https://t.co/iT3sRz3XVD
— The Times IE (@thetimesIE) June 22, 2018