Brexit won't impede our ability to sell military hardware, UK official says

  • Alexis Hammer, regional director for the Americas and Asia Pacific at the U.K. Department for International Trade's Defence and Security Organisation, said he doesn't believe Brexit will impact defense exports
Postcards showing the British Union flag, also known as Union Jack, sit on display at a souvenir store near to the Elizabeth Tower, also known as 'Big Ben', in London, U.K.
Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Postcards showing the British Union flag, also known as Union Jack, sit on display at a souvenir store near to the Elizabeth Tower, also known as 'Big Ben', in London, U.K.

The U.K.'s looming separation from the European Union will have zero effect on the country's robust defense and security exports, according to a government official.

The idea that Brexit will influence foreign sales of U.K. military hardware, such as aircrafts, is "a bit of a red herring," Alexis Hammer, regional director for the Americas and Asia Pacific at the U.K. Department for International Trade's Defence and Security Organisation, told reporters at the Singapore Airshow.

"I don't think that [Brexit] has an effect on our industry," he said, noting that defense exports were always based on bilateral relationships.

Like other U.K. manufacturers, British defense and aerospace companies are expected to face an array of supply chain issues once their country formally exits the European Union. Still, some have maintained that U.K. arms exports could thrive: Michael Fallon, who resigned in November from his position as defense secretary, said last year that Brexit could spur the industry to compete for a larger slice of the international market.

The British share of the global defense export market was estimated at 9 percent in 2016, according to official data.