Airbus chief warns aerospace giant could quit Britain amid Brexit 'disgrace'

Credit: PA Images

The head of Airbus, which employs more than 6,000 people in Wales, has has torn into the Government's handling of Brexit, branding it a "disgrace".

Tom Enders said the aerospace giant could pull out of the UK if its ability to compete on the global stage is harmed by a no-deal departure.

In a video posted to YouTube, he said a no-deal Brexit could force Airbus, which employs more than 14,000 people in the UK with around 110,000 more jobs connected in supply chains, to make "potentially very harmful decisions" about its UK operations.

Airbus' wings are made at a factory in Broughton in Flintshire Credit: PA Images

Business minister Richard Harrington was reported to have said he was "delighted" by comments from Airbus boss Tom Enders, adding that he did not mind if he got the sack for speaking out against a no-deal Brexit.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing to tell leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday that post-Brexit Britain will still be a "great place to do business".

However, Mr Enders said Britain's multibillion-pound aerospace sector, a world-leader for a century, is "standing at a precipice".

Unite Wales Regional Secretary, Peter Hughes, said Airbus is "absolutely central to the future prosperity of Wales".

First Minister Mark Drakeford called on the prime minister to "act responsibly" and "immediately rule out no deal".

Economy Minister Ken Skates said the UK government was "needlessly putting tens of thousands of skilled, well paid jobs at risk".