Future of UK aerospace ‘in doubt’ without EU deal

The future of the UK’s £34bn aerospace sector is at risk if ministers do not reach a deal with the EU over the mutual recognition of parts, the aviation trade body ADS says.

It said a deal would not form part of any post Brexit trade deal, despite the sector employing 110,000 people.

Currently the UK is the world’s second largest aerospace manufacturer.

But ADS said that without agreement, customers would “go elsewhere or UK-based businesses choose to relocate.”

The warning comes as global aircraft orders slowed to nearly zero in September due to a slump in demand caused by the pandemic.

Just 13 aircraft were ordered in the three months from July to September, according to data from ADS.

ADS says ministers have not prioritised an agreement over the certification of aerospace components in their trade negotiations with the EU, preferring to focus on issues such as fishing rights.

However, it said that without mutual recognition, manufacturers could face added cost and complexity at a time when they are already reeling from coronavirus. 

“Even with a deal we are facing significant additional costs,” Mr Everitt told the BBC. “It gets worse if there’s no deal.”