The French aerospace giant Airbus will this week be named as a financial backer of the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union (EU) after it warned that Brexit would prompt it to rethink its British operations.
Xul News has learnt that Airbus Group Ltd, its UK subsidiary, is expected to appear on a list of donors to Britain Stronger in Europe (BSiE), the official pro-EU group, when it is disclosed by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday.
Its financial contribution was made in the form of purchasing a table at a fundraising dinner last month that was attended by David Cameron.
Airbus, which employs roughly 16,000 people in the UK, has been a vocal corporate advocate of continued EU membership, arguing recently that being part of the union helped it to “move ideas, people and resources around without any restrictions”.
“We all need to keep in the back of our minds that future investments depend very much on the economic environment in which the company operates,” Airbus’s chief operating officer Tom Williams and its UK head Paul Kahn said in a letter to staff last month.
In a statement on Monday night, an Airbus Group spokesman said: “Airbus Group confirms it made a donation in the form of taking a table at a Stronger In dinner.”
Pressed on whether such a contribution required the approval of external shareholders, the spokesman refused to answer, saying only: “Airbus Group has complied with all internal and external governance issues.”
The aerospace company will be among dozens of donors to the Remain campaign identified by the Electoral Commission this week as BSiE’s coffers swell beyond £14m.