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Crucial to communities

Brexit fears highlighted by aerospace industry
Douglas Beattie, Friday, May 6th, 2016


The aerospace and defence industry has joined Unite in making a clear call for Britain staying inside the European Union ahead of the referendum on the 23rd of June.

 

ADS Group – the industry body for aerospace, defence, security and space companies in the UK – has said that 70 per cent of its members believe it would be better for their business if the country voted in favour of remaining in the EU.

 

Members of the group employ over 300,000 people in Britain and generate £31bn in annual exports.

 

Other leading lights in the sector have also highlighted the case for voting to remain, including BAE Systems which currently makes the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Fighter jets, providing high-skilled jobs to 11,000 people in Lancashire.

 

“Workplaces like BAE are crucial to communities,” said Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said. “They bring skills and prosperity for working people. We want these benefits to be there for tomorrow’s workers too.

 

“What’s at stake with this referendum is huge. It is the biggest vote we have faced and will determine this country’s future.

 

Vote remain

 

“So when leading manufacturers are on the side of remaining as a full and engaged member of the EU, we listen,” McCluskey added. “Unite’s message to members is a clear one: vote jobs, vote rights, vote remain.”

 

Those comments were echoed by Labour’s shadow business secretary Angela Eagle.

 

“With companies like BAE manufacturing high-quality products critical for our national security and for our country’s exports, they understand the importance of collaboration across the European Union,” she said.

 

The idea of integrated working with European partners is also a major reason why the Airbus group, a leading aerospace employer, has come out “strongly in favour of the UK staying in Europe”.

 

The group – which is the biggest supplier of aircraft to the RAF has said it “firmly believes it makes good economic sense to stay inside the EU”, adding of the dangers of Brexit: “We simply don’t know what Out looks like”.

 

EU investment

 

Ian Waddell, Unite’s national officer for aerospace said,”The aerospace industry is the jewel in the crown of the UK’s manufacturing sector, creating hundreds of thousands of highly paid jobs for skilled workers.

 

“The industry is inextricably bound up with Europe and relies heavily on the EU for investment, orders, parts and industrial partners,” he added. “The potential for Brexit is causing huge anxiety in the industry as no-one has any idea how the web of relationships could be affected.

 

“Unite, along with key employers like BAE Systems and Airbus, believes voting to remain in the EU is the safest way to protect jobs and communities that rely who on aerospace industry.”

 

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