Copyright REUTERS

Airbus is celebrating its 50th birthday today while trying to distance itself from claims it is planning to stay in the UK regardless of the outcome of Brexit.

News website Euractiv reported comments made by the company’s new CEO Guillaume Faury which suggested he wanted the company to stay in the UK regardless of the outcome of Brexit because of the high-skilled workforce and research facilities.

He said the UK is “a very important pillar” for the company and “(The) UK is part of Airbus and Airbus is part of the UK…and we would like to preserve that”.

This is in contrast to comments by the outgoing CEO Tom Enders who warned in January that Airbus could take “very harmful decisions” if the UK crashed out of the EU without a deal.

Airbus has distanced itself from the report, although not the exact quotes, saying it had not changed its policy on Brexit had not changed.

In a tweet it said: “We are still seeking clarity, while preparing for a no deal Brexit”.

The French company was founded in 1969 after an agreement between French and West German ministers at the Paris Air show to boost the European aerospace industry following competition from the US. Airbus was formally founded a year later.

The UK has already passed its original deadline to leave the EU on 29 March and its first extension on 12 April.

It is now on course to leave the EU on 31 October but it is increasingly unlikely the deal agreed between the UK and the EU will be ratified by the UK parliament following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday.

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