Airbus warns it could leave Filton if Brexit negotiations fail

The Airbus base in Filton employs around 3000 people. Credit: ITV News

Aerospace firm Airbus has warned it could pull out of the UK in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The firm, which employs 3,000 people at its site in Filton, says it would “reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country” if Britain crashed out of the single market and customs union without a transition agreement.

Publishing a Brexit “risk assessment” on its website, the firm also called on the Government to extend the planned transition period due to run until December 2020 if a deal is agreed, saying it was too short for the business to reorganise its supply chain.

If there was no extension it would “carefully monitor any new investments in the UK and refrain from extending the UK suppliers/partners base”, it said.

The news was greeted by anger from Labour MPs.

Darren Jones, whose Bristol North West constituency contains Airbus’s Filton wing plant, attacked the Government for only listening to “hardline pro-Brexit MPs and not to the businesses that employ thousands of British workers, including Airbus”.

The People’s Vote supporter added: “Thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs are now on the line because of the shambolic mess the Government have created over the Brexit negotiations.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer hit out on Twitter, saying: “If proof was needed that the PM’s Brexit red lines need to be abandoned (and fast), this is it.”

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw described it as “devastating news”, adding: “When are we going to wake up to the disaster of this Tory #BrexitShambles??”, while Chuka Umunna questioned: “What will it take for the establishments running Westminster to wake up!”