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Airbus chief says British government 'optimistic' on Brexit deal

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Airbus chief Tom Enders on Wednesday said he hopes Britain will not exit the EU without a deal in place, adding that British Cabinet members had expressed a "degree of optimism."

[MOBILE, United States] Airbus chief Tom Enders on Wednesday said he hopes Britain will not exit the EU without a deal in place, adding that British Cabinet members had expressed a "degree of optimism."

Mr Enders spoke at groundbreaking ceremomy for a new aircraft assembly line in Alabama, the day after British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan suffered a crushing defeat in parliament.

On Tuesday, senior members of Mrs May's government including Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond held a conference call on the subject with major companies.

"I wouldn't say assurances but I would say ministers expressed a certain degree of optimism that a no-deal Brexit would not happen," he said.

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According to Bloomberg, Mr Hammond said a hard Brexit could be avoided and spoke of delaying the date on which Britain is scheduled to leave the union, now set for March 29.

Airbus is nevertheless preparing for all possible outcomes, Mr Enders said, adding that the company was hoping for the best by preparing for the worst.

AFP