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"Airbus was always likely to be the inward investor international firm most susceptible to Brexit" - expert comment from Professor Nigel Driffield

Commenting on the announcement from Airbus that it would reconsider its investment in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Professor Nigel Driffield from Warwick Business School said:

“Airbus was always likely to be the inward investor international firm most susceptible to Brexit. By its very nature it is a European collaboration and its supply chains cross into and out of Europe several times. Add to that the treatment that several of its products - particularly related to advanced materials or high-tech use of metals - would be subject to under WTO rules, and one comes to the conclusion that it would be simply impossible for Airbus to maintain production in the UK as part of its EU operation.

“In addition to the obvious concerns about the number of jobs that are lost - not just in Airbus but in its supply chain - one also has to consider the number of firms who supply Airbus as well as large numbers of other advanced manufacturing businesses. The fact that they supply Airbus facilitates them benefiting from significant economies of scale and scope that would be lost without those Airbus contracts. As such, without the presence of Airbus, many other supply chains become less efficient and less innovative - therefore becoming less competitive.”

22 June 2018

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