As UK MPs prepare to vote on amendments to the Brexit deal and discuss next steps, several aviation industry leaders have highlighted the lack of clarity and warned against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Hosting a meeting of the heads of airline associations from around the world at Eurocontrol Headquarters in Brussels, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) hosted discussions on key industry issues, with Brexit top of the agenda. The ERA said: “Developments have continued to be slow, without full clarity for the aviation industry and with a growing likelihood of a ‘no-deal’ outcome, which could have disastrous consequences.”
The session highlighted the implications of a hard Brexit “versus a comprehensive aviation agreement and a transition period with regards to UK exclusion from EASA, and certifications.” The session also provided an update on US-UK Aviation Agreement and discussed how the US envisages UK-EU aviation relations to operate post Brexit.
Commenting on the event, ERA director general, Montserrat Barriga said the event was “an important step towards further growing the close relationship between ERA and other key airline associations for the great benefit of the airline industry.”
This follows comments made last week by the CEO of Airbus, urging UK decision makers to avoid a no-deal Brexit and warning it could lead to “potentially very harmful decisions for [its operations in] the UK.”
Airbus generates £6 billion of turnover in the UK, has more than 14,000 employees in the country and supports over 110,000 jobs through its supply chain.
“If there is a no-deal Brexit, we at Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the UK,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus in a video on the company’s website. “Of course it is not possible to pick up and move our large UK factories to other parts of the world immediately. However, aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to re-direct future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”
The CEO called it a “disgrace” that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum “businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future.”
“We along with many of our peers have repeatedly called for clarity. But, we still have no idea what is really going on here,” he added.
In June 2018 Airbus published a ‘Brexit-Risk Assessment’ detailing the manufacturer’s concerns for a no-deal Brexit and highlighting the “major risks to the aerospace sector”.
In the report, Airbus warned: “A no deal Brexit must be avoided, as it would force Airbus to reconsider its footprint in the country, its investments in the UK and at large its dependency on the UK.”