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Pete North @PeteNorth303
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. Just been on the radio talking about the Airbus story - as a leaver and former contractor consultant to Airbus. I followed one Godfrey "Bongo" Bloom. He says Airbus can't just up sticks and leave. Here's why he's wrong...
2. Filton at one time faced oblivion when there was a threat to cancel Concorde and that would have eliminated 17,000 jobs. They were mainly factory jobs because Concorde was built by hand - back in the days before computer modelling so there was a wind tunnel and test rigs.
3. Fast forward to today and the runway is closed for housing, the Brabazon hanger is due for demolition and the manufacturing operation is quite small and not labour intensive. There's only three main sheds for manufacturing. The rest is all offices.
4. There you will find nearly all of the design work is now computerised along with the testing and the people working there are from all over the world. They can and will up sticks if the money is right and replacing office facilities is no big deal for a multi-billion company.
5. Even the manufacturing sheds are expendable. The rigs inside can be shipped out by road and new sheds can be built inside a year now. It's a loss for them but one they could absorb given the long term costs of non tariff barriers.
6. But as it happens given that we are remaining in EASA Airbus could keep operating - just not if we crash out without a deal because their suppliers would not be EASA certified and their products and services could not be used.
7. But then Airbus also relies on high mobility. 18000 staff business trips are made between the UK and the Toulouse HQ. We would need a posted workers arrangement - not forgetting mutual recognition of qualifications.
8. It is possible Airbus could weather it but what we would see is a diplomatic withdrawal from the UK, diverting future investments and developments and moving the decision-making capacity away from the UK.
9. That would see a gradual deflation of Airbus operations in the UK. they wouldn't mention Brexit by name and would do it so stealthily it probably wouldn't even make the evening news - but it would be a consequence of Brexit.
10. It is entirely possible to resolve these issues but we would need the EEA as a starter for ten but our thinking is that the EEA does not go far enough for the aviation sector.…
11. Roughly the same dynamics will apply to Rolls Royce aero engines and we can expect admin facilities to move out to Ireland. EU member states are more than happy to take these highly skilled well paid jobs away from us. Thats why they ain't too bothered about German car sales
12. The short of it is that on this and everything else, dropping out without a deal is a jobs disaster and even an FTA still means we become a third country with no preferential participation in the market. We therefore need the EEA and a number of bilaterals to make Brexit work
13. For those of you who think we can just let these jobs go and "trade with the rest of the world", there is no bumper US deal in the wings, and nothing that could possibly substitute single market trade.
14. We can forge better trade links with the Commonwealth but these are mainly low income countries with populations under 2m and little demand for high tech products and services. These would be primarily agricultural deals.
15. You can invent all the excuses and justifications you like but we cannot bluff our way through this. We do need a deal - and the entire aerospace sector functions on regulation and certification. If you are out of that system then you're not in the game.
Correction to #6: Airbus remains regulated by EASA. Airbus UK can be regulated by EASA - but UK government can not a member of it. Efta members have associate membership of it. Sorry for the mistake.
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