Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

London — A British minister has accused Airbus and other major firms of issuing "completely inappropriate" threats and undermining Prime Minister Theresa May in a sign of growing tensions with business leaders over Brexit.

Last week aircraft maker Airbus issued its strongest warning over the effect of Britain’s departure from the EU, saying a withdrawal without a deal would force it to reconsider its long-term position and put thousands of British jobs at risk.

Other European companies with major operations in Britain have also started to speak out two years on from the vote.

"The more that we undermine Theresa May the more likely we are to end up with a fudge which will be absolute disaster for everyone," health secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

German car maker BMW has warned the company would have to make contingency plans within months if the government did not soon clarify its post-Brexit position and German industrial group Siemens said it urgently needed clarity on how its operations would have to be organised.

The leaders of five major business lobby groups also warned the prime minister over the weekend that the ongoing uncertainty about Brexit could cost the economy billions of pounds.