Just days before the referendum StrongerIn played their trump card. Airbus and Siemens publicly warned of the risk that they would leave Britain, if Britain left the EU. It was one of the most credible arguments of Project Fear from CEOs of respected giant industrial firms. Siemens, the bluechip German engineering giant, could go home. Airbus in particular, the champion and political symbol of multi-national cooperation, would probably come under pressure to re-trench. Britain’s multi-billion aerospace industry and engineering base would be at risk.
What actually happened? Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser soon announced after the vote he was “confident and optimistic” about the “big opportunities” in Brexit Britain:
“There is no reason not to invest tomorrow, if there is a demand and a commitment from the customer. I am willing – and the company is willing to invest – further. There are more opportunities than risks for us.”
Yesterday brought the icing on the cake, Bloomberg revealed that the Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders has written to the Business Secretary Greg Clark promising the U.K. government that Airbus plans to retain its British operations “long into the future’’ – this from the most europhile of CEOs. Project Fear’s strongest cards turned out to be bluffs.
The same people who bluffed before now say if Brexit happens it will be a disaster for the economy. Ignore what they say and instead follow the money. Investment banks like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are spending billions on new headquarters in London, europhile Bloomberg too. The Brexodus of big business is not happening, instead they are investing billions for the long term. Brexit is going to be great…