The Guardian - Gwyn Topham

Charlie Cornish says departure from EU has harmed UK aviation sector’s ability to recruit workers

The boss of Britain’s biggest airport group has said there is “no doubt” that Brexit has damaged the UK economy, adding that it has “massively exacerbated” worker shortages.

Charlie Cornish, the chief executive of MAG, which owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, said problems with recruitment were making the UK less competitive.

Manchester airport was one of the facilities worst affected by disruption this year as a shortage of frontline staff left it unable to handle the post-Covid demand for travel, with huge queues and chaotic scenes in security and baggage halls.

Speaking at the Airlines 2022 conference in London, Cornish said: “There’s no doubt that Brexit has damaged the UK economy, 99% of leading economists would tell you that. You just have to look at the rate of growth now, and that’s significant.”

He added: “If that carries on, the UK’s ability to be competitive will get eroded every single year. We do need the UK government to look at how to actually get a sensible economic growth plan back, with aviation at the centre of that.”

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