Remainers and The Times are loving the “Airbus prepares to move business from Britain” story this morning. Couple of things here. The Times claims in its top line:
“The European aerospace company Airbus is set to become the first big manufacturer to pull investment from Britain after losing patience with Theresa May’s stalled Brexit negotiations.”
“Set to” is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Read down and you see Airbus is only threatening to “pull investment” if there is no deal. Incidentally, The Times calls no deal “hard Brexit” – Guido remembers when they used to say “hard Brexit” was leaving the single market and customs union. When you think that privately Number 10 does not countenance the possibility of no deal, that the government has done next to no preparations for such an outcome, and that the PM’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” rhetoric is empty, it is clearly far more likely there will be a deal. So Airbus is not “set to” pull out by any objective measure.
Also worth remembering Airbus was a chief player in Project Fear during the referendum. They made intervention after intervention threatening to pull investment if the country voted to Leave. Since then, Airbus boss Tom Enders admitted that the company plans to retain its operations “long into the future’’. It’s pretty obvious that Airbus and the overwritten story in the Times are just trying to make sure no deal is well and truly off the table. Which it effectively already is thanks to Number 10. This is Project Fear 2.0 from big business and a Remoan comic…