Rolls-Royce on Wednesday said it was switching to Germany from the UK its design-approval of large aircraft engines after Prime Minister Theresa May delayed parliament’s vote on the Brexit deal.
“Rolls-Royce notes the decision by the UK government to delay the vote on the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration,” the company said in a trading update.
May has postponed a historic vote in parliament over her EU withdrawal agreement because of its certain defeat — and must now win a no-confidence vote by MPs in her Conservative party to be held Wednesday.
In a statement, Rolls said it was working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) over the planned movement of work to Germany, repeating that it was looking at stockpiling parts in preparation for Britain’s planned exit from the EU on March 29.
“We will continue to implement our contingency plans,” Rolls said.
“Specifically, we are working with EASA to transfer design approval for large aero engines to Germany, where we already carry out this process for business jets.
“This is a precautionary and reversible technical action which we do not anticipate will lead to the transfer of any jobs,” Rolls added.
The company said also that it had “begun to build inventory as a contingency measure”.
It said that it has been liaising with all its suppliers and that it had required capacity to store extra parts.
Rolls, which manufactures aviation and marine engines, employs more than 22,000 people in Britain, making it one of the country’s largest manufacturing groups.
Like other UK companies dependent on trade with the continent, Rolls is planning on how to deal with the return of customs controls in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which would impact the supply chain of components.