Airbus, the world’s second largest manufacturer of aircraft, has reportedly written to UK based staff, warning about the dangers of the UK voting to leave the European Union in June’s referendum, and warned that Brexit could be damaging to the company’s continuing operation in the UK.
According to the BBC, the French firm has sent a letter to all 15,000 British staff, saying that the European Union is crucial for allowing the company to remain competitive, as well as allowing the company to move people and products around the EU.
The company also hinted to staff that future investments in Airbus’ UK operation may be at risk should Britain leave the EU. Here are some extracts from the letter, as reported by the BBC (emphasis ours):
“Airbus Group’s success in the UK is predicated on a highly competitive, integrated European business model,” the letter says. “Our position… is we firmly believe that it makes good economic sense to stay inside the EU which has helped make the company the global success story it is today. Apart from anything else, we simply don’t know what ‘out’ looks like”
The letter continues:
“It is also reasonable for us as a responsible UK leadership team to explain to you why we think it is important for us to stay. Should the British electorate have a different view then clearly we wouldn’t cease our activities in the UK, which are highly important and very prominent.
“However, our business model is entirely based on our ability to move products, people and ideas around Europe without any restriction and we do not believe leaving will increase the competitiveness of our British based operations.
“We all need to keep in the back of our minds that future investments depend very much on the economic environment in which the company operates.
“In fact we believe that the UK remaining active in reforming the EU can improve our position, and as a commercial business that operates in a globally competitive environment we need to maintain every competitive advantage in the UK we have.
Airbus’ reported warning to staff comes on the same day that a major survey from the British Chambers of Commerce showed that nearly 90% of businesses in the UK are in favour of staying in the EU, with just 7.1% favouring Brexit.
Business Insider has reached out to Airbus for comment and will update this story when we hear back.