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UK government minister says Brexit threats are inappropriate

Airbus is one company that has said it could pull out of the UK
Airbus is one company that has said it could pull out of the UK
By Mark Armstrong
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Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Brexit negotiations are at a critical stage


In a TV interview, Britain's Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has hit out at businesses making threats over the government's Brexit position. He was responding to recent claims by large corporations that they could quit the UK if there is is no clear policy on trade before Britain leaves the EU next March.

Mr. Hunt was speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme:

"It's completely inappropriate for businesses to be making these kinds of threats for one very simple reason - we are in an absolutely critical moment in the Brexit discussions and what that means is that we need to get behind Theresa May to deliver the best possible Brexit, a clean Brexit and what businesses want and I was in business for 14 years, what they want is clarity and certainty."

Last week planemaker Airbus warned it could leave the UK if it exits the EU without a transition deal. The company employs 14,000 people across the country. The firm said no deal would lead to severe disruption of UK production.

German car maker BMW added its voice to the chorus saying it needs to know within months what the government's preferred position is on customs and trade after Brexit.

The company employs 8,000 people in the UK making the Mini and Rolls Royce.

It has built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Britain's suitability as an export hub after Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out staying in the customs union after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

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