The chief executive for Airbus has said that it does not plan on pulling manufacturing out of the UK if the country leaves the European Union (EU). With the vote steadily getting closer, Fabrice Bregier said that the aircraft manufacturer is dedicated to its 16,000 employees that are based in the UK. In addition to this, he said that British factories would not be relocated.
Airbus is the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer and employs 6,000 people at its site at Broughton in north Wales. It assembles the wings for all the Airbus aircraft. In Filton, which is near Bristol, several thousand more people are employed and design wings and test landing gear.
Despite what Bregier has said, last month the UK chief executive Paul Kahn stated that if the UK voted to leave the EU, the company would have to reconsider future investment in the UK. Once the referendum is over, a judgment would be made about what the consequences would be for the competitiveness of the business, Bregier said on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, ministers tabled an amendment to the EU referendum bill and decided that the plebiscite on 5th May would be ruled out. This would have been the same day as the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assembly elections as well as local elections.
As a result of this decision, it is more likely that the referendum will take place either next autumn or during 2017. This all depends on the prime minister’s ability to negotiate concessions from his European counterparts.
Many want the referendum to be over and dealt with and businesses have repeated concerns about the level of uncertainty caused by the timing of the referendum. It could potentially harm the economy as investment decisions are delayed as a result. Kahn stated last month that the UK must compete for international investment.