Airbus and BMW warn about consequences of a forced Brexit

As the deadline for Brexit gets closer, more and more companies are worried about the future, seeing no deal is being reached between the European Union and the British government. 

Artículo disponible en Español | Article disponible en Français

In our past article, we covered how it seems the UK and the EU are not doing much to reach an agreement concerning post-Brexit relations. As we get closer to the deadline, companies are increasingly worried about the future, and have started to voice out their concerns.

Last week, Airbus voiced out their worries, warning that it would reconsider their long-term investments in the country if the UK left the Union without a deal. Airbus manufactures wings for their passenger planes in the UK. The company employs around 14K people in the country, and between direct and indirect jobs, this number raises to 100K people, according to the company. Airbus also buys their engines from Rolls-Royce, with 16% of their airplane parts coming from UK, but specified that there were many other countries keen on working with them for future investments. The company is planning on stockpiling close to 1 billion euros in parts for the transition, threating to leave the UK if no deal is obtained. Some people point out Airbus may be unable to leave from one day to another, due to their long waiting list on orders, and the way the company operates.

Soon after Airbus issued their warning, BMW, the German car manufacturer, joined Airbus’s worries. BMW, who owns and manufactures the Mini as well as Rolls-Royce cars, employs around 8K people in the UK. The company has already prepared for the worse, by building a factory in the Netherlands, making it easy to export to the UK if no deal is obtained. Between 2012 and 2015, BMW invested around 750 million £ (close to 850 million euros) to upgrade manufacturing plants in the UK for their Mini cars. The company specified they are not planning on closing factories in the UK but expect delays in their production chain if no deal is obtained.

The latest company to react negatively to Brexit is Ferrovial, a Spanish conglomerate specialized in construction and management of infrastructures, who has already announced they would relocate their UK offices to the Netherlands. The company specified the point of the move is to remain under the EU legislation. The company owns part of Heathrow, and manages the airports of Heathrow, Aberdeen, Southampton and Glasgow. Currently, Ferrovial doesn’t plan on laying off any staff.

Even smaller companies, such as DRSC Publishers (backing DRSC Media), are worried about the effects of Brexit, with the Administration considering whether to relocate to a different, EU country, or wait and see what the impact on the company is. More than 75% of the revenue of DRSC Publishers comes from EU clients (excluding UK), with the 25% remaining coming from UK/US and rest of the world.

Even after all these warnings, and as mentioned in our previous article, it seems the British government is uninterested by these cases, or prefer not seeing them, stating that these are just threats and fearmongering. The government has to realize that no, sadly enough, this is the reality. Until there is no firm deal put in place, more and more companies will consider moving abroad, with thousands of jobs lost and millions in taxes going to different governments.

Ourselves, DRSC Publishers, have two potential countries we can move to, and will shortly seek legal advice in order to guide our final decision, unless the UK government gives real, firm, guarantees that business will not be affected.

This article is the second part of a 3-parts article about Brexit. Click here for the next one, “100K people march against Brexit in London”.

More on this subject: