UK Ministers Strike Back at Airbus, BMW over Brexit Warnings
Key ministers in the UK government have dismissed recent warnings by industrial giants Airbus and BMW that the possibility of a “no transition deal” Brexit could see them scale down their business in the country.
Earlier this week Airbus, which directly employs about 14,000 people in UK, has suggested in a statement it might even leave in the worst-case scenario. BMW has followed suit with a similarly phrased message, saying it will need clarity “within months” regarding future customs arrangements with the EU.
On Sunday, however, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox have both accused business of undermining the UK government, and have called for rallying behind Prime Minister Theresa May in her Brexit talks with the European Union.
“It was completely inappropriate for businesses to be making these kinds of threats, for one simple reason,” Hunt has told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.
“We are in a critical moment in the Brexit discussions. We need to get behind Theresa May to deliver the best possible Brexit, a clean Brexit,” he has added.
“The more we undermine Theresa May, the more likely we are to end up with a fudge, which would be an absolute disaster for everyone,” the UK Health Secretary has declared.
British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has voiced a similar reaction to the Brexit warnings by Airbus and BMW.
Fox has insisted that the “no deal” option should remain on the table in the Brexit talks in order to strengthen Britain’s position vis-à-vis the EU.
“If we actually say we’ll accept any deal you give us rather than walk away, that weakens our negotiating position,” he has told on Sky News.
“People who are making these comments need to understand that they may be actually putting the UK at a disadvantage by making these cases,” Fox has insisted.
“Companies are right to say that if there’s no deal that won’t be good for Britain, but it won’t be good for Europe either. In an era when we’ve got complex integrated supply chains, it will be necessarily bad for both sides,” he has argued.
UK Health Secretary Hunt had suggested earlier the European Commission was deliberately saying the Brexit talks were not going well as part of its “negotiating tactics.”
“We have to ignore these siren voices … get on and support Theresa May… She has the instincts of a Brexiteer but the cautious pragmatism of a remainer, which is where I think the British people are. She brings incredible resilience and we have to allow her to get on and negotiate this deal,” Hunt has stated.
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