1. ITV Report

Airbus calls for a 'lengthy' transition period during Brexit

Credit: PA

The company Airbus, which employs thousands at its wing-making plant in Broughton, Flintshire, is calling for a "lengthy" transition period during Brexit.

It says it needs the time to invest in customs arrangements like electronic border management systems because it needs to move staff and equipment "within hours" around the EU.

The company says it could be put at a "competitive disadvantage" if the UK and EU do not agree on the terms of a transitional deal as soon as possible.

Airbus says UK jobs could be put at risk if British workers are burdened with new visa requirements after Brexit, or if Britain does not secure access to certain research programmes in the event of "no deal".

It is vital in the negotiations that the UK secures continued access to these programmes to avoid highly skilled UK jobs and research moving to EU member states.

Not reaching a deal with the EU would have significant consequences for Airbus and its supply chain. Airbus believes that no deal would potentially reduce the UK's influence on regulatory matters, damage the UK's work advancing new technology and, in turn, creating high value jobs.

Therefore, Airbus relies on a fully-integrated relationship which secures the access to, skills, R&D and influence that underpins its global competitiveness and rising productivity.

– Airbus
Engineers work on the wings for the Airbus A320 in Broughton, North Wales. Credit: PA

The national trade association for the sector, ADS Group said increased customs checks could result in £1.5 billion added costs.

That is extremely worrying and risks making our aerospace industry less competitive and driving up costs at a crucial time for our economy.

The extra costs could have a negative impact on future investment decisions. Our committee is keen to hear from the industry what it wants from the Government to ease their uncertainties and ensure the smoothest possible transition as we leave the EU.

– Rachel Reeves, Labour MP and committee chair
Airbus plant in Broughton. Credit: PA