Best for business, or best for the British people?
Aerospace manufacturer Airbus is putting its own interests ahead of what is best for Britain by campaigning against the UK leaving the European Union, according to UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour.
In a scaremongering letter to its employees, senior Airbus officials said a vote for Brexit would have negative consequences on investment and damage the company’s UK operations.
But the comments come just days after the world’s largest aircraft maker, Boeing, confirmed its European hub would be based in the UK, regardless of the EU referendum result, because Britain was such a ‘critical’ aerospace market.
Jill Seymour said: “Far from being detrimental to the UK aviation industry, leaving the EU would help us trade with global companies and make our country more inviting for investment, instead of being tied into EU rules, regulations and trade agreements.
“Most of our aerospace trade is outside the EU already – we do a great deal of business with North America and even China. That’s why Boeing recognises that the referendum result will have little impact on business.
“And even if it did, given the trade deficit we currently have with the rest of the EU, it’s in their best interests to agree a free trade deal with our aviation industry to ensure European suppliers and customers would not be affected following Brexit.
“It’s a nonsense to suggest business would be harmed if we left the EU and our companies will continue to trade as partners. We already trade internationally and mostly outside the EU – that’s why it is wrong for big business to try to influence the referendum by scaremongering among employees.
“This referendum is not about profit margins for the big multinationals – it’s about the future of our country for the ordinary man and woman in the street.”
Mrs Seymour added: “Boeing has around 2,000 staff in the UK, and has invested £1.8 billion here. Why would the company pledge its future so confidently to Britain if there was any truth in the claims that a Brexit will wreck our economy?
“This Airbus letter is yet more evidence that the ‘Project Fear’ brigade are relying on scaremongering in their desperation to convince voters to keep us in the EU, which will never have Britain’s interests at its core.”