Airbus threatens to quit UK over Brexit, taking 14,000 jobs with it

An Airbus A350 in Wellington.
An Airbus A350 in Wellington. Photo credit: Newshub.

Airbus is threatening to leave Britain if the country exits the European Union without a deal on trade relations, underscoring the concerns of business leaders who say the government is moving too slowly.

The company, which employs about 14,000 people at 25 sites in the UK, said it needs to know by the end of the summer what rules will govern its operations or the company will "reconsider its long-term footprint in the country".

Airbus also says a proposed transition deal that runs through December 2020 is too short for the company to reorganise its supply chain.

Union representative Mark Fisher said the development was "very worrying" adding that "people voted to leave the European Union, they didn't vote to leave and lose their jobs".

"It's very worrying for the workers, and if this government's not careful it's going to be a cliff-edge decision they're making about people's jobs and their livelihood."

Airbus is the UK's largest commercial aerospace company, a leading provider of military satellite communications and the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force.