Company criticised for writing to employees to tell them about “risks” of leaving EU (36)

AEROSPACE giant Airbus has written to its 2,000 Hampshire employees warning of the risks of leaving the European Union, prompting criticism from Southampton’s pro-Brexit MP.

Royston Smith said it was inappropriate for the firm to tell workers that Britain’s membership makes “good economic sense”.

The company employs 1,000 people at its Defence and Space centre in Portsmouth and another 1,000 in Gosport through subsidiary Vector Aerospace.

In an email to its UK workforce, directors said Airbus would stay in the UK regardless of the result of June’s in-out referendum but warned that an Out vote could hit investment.

The letter from six directors read: “We firmly believe that it makes good economic sense to stay inside the EU which has helped make the company the global success story it is today.

“Our business model is entirely based on our ability to move products, people and ideas around Europe without any restriction and we do not believe leaving will increase the competitiveness of our British based operations.”

The company also funds a noise research centre at Southampton University, though it is unclear whether its small team received the email.

Mr Smith, Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, said: “It’s a bit cheeky.

“Their workforce is independent enough and clever enough to make their own decisions, so writing to them in my opinion is inappropriate.”

He added: “Most of the businesses employing most of the people don’t benefit from exporting to or importing from the EU but they have to follow their bureaucracy and regulations.”

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