Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has urged UK politicians to swiftly approve a deal outlining the country's planned means of departing EU membership, arguing that this would remove long-term uncertainty which could otherwise deter the company from making future investment decisions.
With the UK's exit from the bloc less than three months away, Airbus has already committed to spending what Enders describes as "double-digit millions" on contingency planning. This includes accumulating a month's-worth supply of parts, to cover the short-term disruption to movement that could arise if customs arrangements are changed.
"We are very worried, and it is starting to cost us serious money," Enders said during an Airbus Group reception in London on 9 January.
"We don't see any specific benefits in the current deal – it is just a lot less bad than a 'no deal'," he says. UK politicians should "stop filibustering around this issue", he adds, urging them to "allow for an orderly, agreed Brexit and find an agreement with Brussels".
Describing the current uncertainty as "really unbearable", Enders notes: "Being competitive is how we survive. Our factories in the UK are highly efficient – we must not lose this competitiveness, either through increased financial or regulatory burden, or through a lack of clarity that will make future investment very difficult."
Responding to Enders' comments at the same event, UK chancellor Philip Hammond said: "Our job is to make sure that Airbus can continue to have a prosperous future in the UK: to make sure it will be business logic to keep you here in the years ahead."