Monday, 9 March 2020

Capital flight

Thanks to the way in which the Tories are executing Brexit, the UK is set to lose some important market access upon which a great many jobs depend. Airline maintenance firm Magnetic MRO has transferred a UK production centre to Estonia, in order to remain within the European Union given the uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The strategic decision affects its UK-based MAC Aero Interiors subsidiary, acquired in 2016, and has been taken as a result of “changes in the economic environment” in the country. This is linked to the decision to break away from EASA which could threaten British Airways Maintenance, a major aircraft maintenance facility located near Cardiff Airport.

This is where the trade debate has failed. Being that there is a fixation on tariffs and FTAs, little is said of the services trade generated by way of being part of a regulatory market. It is is difficult to see how these skilled well paid jobs will be replaced when they go. This we will have to find out the hard way when much of what was described as "project fear" turns out to be project reality.

As much as this will have a direct impact on the aerospace industry in South Wales, it's also bad news for manufacturers of all the thousands of components that go with major refits of commercial aircraft. There is also a question mark hanging over aircraft decommissioning at several sites in the UK, not least Air Salvage International at Kemble. This could see the UK locked out of the airline spares and materials reclamation markets entirely.

From the looks of it, those in government have given little thought to the impacts of complete regulatory severance having little idea what depends on it. Understanding at the highest levels of government is minimal. Worse still, I really don't think they even care. Nor it seems does the Labour Party. You would think this would be of some interest to the opposition party. It's never been easier for an opposition party to tear chunks out of a governing party. This has to be one of the most incompetent and corrupt British governments of all time yet Labour seemingly more interested in abolishing itself. It's bizarre. Never has politics been so self-involved.

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