Aerospace firm Airbus has warned it could pull out of the UK with the loss of thousands of jobs in North Wales in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

The firm, which employs 14,000 people at 25 sites across the country, including their wing-making facility in Broughton, Flintshire, said it would “reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country” if Britain crashed out of the single market and customs union without a transition agreement.

Publishing a Brexit “risk assessment” on its website, the firm also called on the Government to extend the planned transition period due to run until December 2020 if a deal is agreed, saying it was too short for the business to reorganise its supply chain.

If there was no extension it would “carefully monitor any new investments in the UK and refrain from extending the UK suppliers/partners base”, it said.

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An Airbus A380 on display (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Tom Williams, the chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the UK aerospace industry and Airbus in particular.

“Therefore, immediate mitigation measures would need to be accelerated.

“While Airbus understands that the political process must go on, as a responsible business we require immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively.

“Without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant.

“We have sought to highlight our concerns over the past 12 months, without success.

“Far from Project Fear, this is a dawning reality for Airbus.

“Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus’ future in the UK.”

In its risk assessment, Airbus says it is “getting increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on the Brexit process”.

It says it supports more than 110,000 jobs among 4,000 suppliers in the UK, with parts crossing the Channel “multiple times”.

This business relies on “frictionless trade” under customs union and single market rules, it added, saying “any change in customs procedures, logistics and environmental standards would have major industrial and cost impact”.

It went on: “A no-deal Brexit must be avoided, as it would force Airbus to reconsider its footprint in the country, its investments in the UK and at large its dependency on the UK.

“Given the ‘No-deal/hard Brexit’ uncertainties, the company’s dependence on and investment in the flagship Wing Of Tomorrow programme would also have to be revisited, and corresponding key competencies grown outside the UK.

“This extremely negative outcome for Airbus would be catastrophic.

“It would impair our ability to benefit from highly qualified British resources, it would also severely undermine UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, while developing high value jobs and competencies.”

A Government spokesman said: "We have made significant progress towards agreeing a deep and special partnership with the EU to ensure trade remains as free and frictionless as possible, including in the aerospace sector, and we're confident of getting a good deal that is mutually beneficial.

"Given the good progress that we are continuing to make in the negotiations we do not expect a no-deal scenario to arise.

"The Government is working closely with companies to understand their concerns ahead of leaving the EU and alongside industry will invest almost £4 billion by 2026 to ensure the UK remains a world leader in civil aerospace."

Britain’s largest union, Unite warned that a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit was becoming a ‘cold hard reality’ that was getting closer by the day.

Commenting Unite assistant general secretary with responsibility for aerospace Steve Turner said: “The realities of a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit and its impact on jobs in manufacturing communities across the four nations of the UK are becoming closer by day. 

"Airbus supports 110,000 jobs in the UK. Its stark warnings of the uncertainty facing the aerospace industry cannot be dismissed by ministers and ‘hard Brexiteers’. It would be a betrayal of Airbus workers, their families and the tens of thousands workers in the wider supply chain if the government failed to secure frictionless trade and access to the customs union and single market.

"Theresa May and her government need to provide Brexit certainty if the UK is to remain at the cutting edge of innovation and a world leader in aerospace.

"People voted to leave the European Union, but didn’t back leave to lose their jobs and see their livelihoods smashed on the cliff face of a ‘hard Brexit’. 

"Theresa May needs to ask herself whether she is willing to lay waste to vibrant manufacturing communities on the altar of Conservative party interests and Tory infighting.

"If the answer is no, then the government needs to provide certainty over the UK’s relationship with the European Union to unlock investment by securing frictionless trade and a regulatory framework agreement for the aerospace industry as a matter of urgency.

"Workers will be increasingly worried about their jobs and their futures. Unite will continue to defend their interests and their livelihoods. We will be in close dialogue with Airbus and continue to put pressure on the government to secure jobs and the future of the UK aerospace industry.”