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Friday, 19/05/2019, 23:51:08 PM
UK exit from EU puts constraints on Airbus: chief negotiator
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07 JULY, 2017 Airbus has been highlighted as a company which would face obstacles to operations once the UK leaves the European Union, in remarks from the European Commissions chief negotiator on the matter.

Michel Barnier mentioned the "constraints" which would apply to "all business which, at the moment, benefit from integration of centres of production" within the EU single market.

He was speaking during an update on negotiations with the UK at a meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee on 6 July.

Barnier stressed that the UK's decision to leave – the so-called 'Brexit' – would mean leaving the EU customs union and the single market, and that there would be no sector-by-sector participation in the single market.

"You cannot be half-in, half-out," he said, as he stated that the Brexit process "means uncertainty" for citizens, businesses and jobs. "There will be no business-as-usual."

Leaving the EU and retaining all its benefits was "not possible", Barnier emphasised, but added that he was "not sure" if these consequences had been "fully understood across the [English] Channel".

Businesses would need to prepare for a situation without the "frictionless" trade that came with EU membership.

"The success of the Airbus factory in Broughton, in north Wales, largely depends on its ability easily to bring in qualified engineers and technicians from Europe," he pointed out. "And also the simplicity of certification procedures and routing of parts from Hamburg and Toulouse."

Airbus, which manufactures wings for its commercial aircraft range at Broughton, had underlined its support for UK membership of the EU before the referendum decision in June last year. Under the schedule the UK will leave the EU in March 2019.

"There is no punishment for Brexit and no spirit of revenge," said Barnier. "But Brexit has a cost, also for businesses in the [remaining 27 EU member states].

"Businesses should assess with lucidity the negative consequences of the UK's choice on trade and investment, and prepare to manage them."

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