More than 20 firms in Hampshire face uncertain future from the Airbus Brexit threat to quit the UK warns a South East England Labour MEP

Aerospace giant, Airbus Industries, has announced that it could leave the UK if the country leaves the European Single Market and Customs Union.

There are at least 21 approved suppliers to Airbus operating in Hampshire and at least 64 in the wider South East Region.

John Howarth MEP for South East England said: “The Conservative Government needs either to accept the reality that UK manufacturers have been explaining for the past two years. They need to make up their minds if they want to have a manufacturing industry at all. It’s time they took out their headphones and listened to the safety briefing before the Airbus plane leaves the UK on a one-way flight.”

He added: “Modern supply chains have grown up in the European Union and have taken the Single Market and Customs Union for granted, now they face a reality of life where EU27 suppliers may not be able to guarantee parts to UK manufacturers in a timely or cost-effective way. Equally, were Airbus to move current UK production to the EU27 countries, UK suppliers would likewise struggle to meet delivery schedules and comply with ‘rule of origin’ trade requirements.”

Customs legislation in the event of Brexit has yet to pass through the House of Commons. While a transition arrangement extending UK participation in the single market and customs union has been agreed in principal to the end of 2020 it is subject to the Withdrawal Agreement being signed and ratified by the EU27 and no future relationship has been agreed between the parties.