That was back in early March, Airbus were not listened to, they went public lthis week, so too BMW - this is unusual as most majors do not court negative publicity, they just plan ahead quietly.
The reason is next weeks summit, specifically June 29.
There is a sense amongst the 27 that the UK is sidelining the Irish border question, perhaps in a hope that the 27 will see that problem as an ‘irritant’ (as quoted by an insider).
Thing is that the N Ireland border is an irritant - but it has the capacity to become the rock that the transition offer will perish - hence Airbus and BMW.
UK officials as indeed Pres Trump are aware of current German political difficulties surrounding immigration, perhaps an opportunity for the UK to take advantage of in the present negotiations.
The opposite seems to be the case, a hardening of attitude, maybe thinking ahead with the impending trade war with the US also in mind:
“Germans are very, very clear about this,” says an EU diplomat. “For them this is much bigger. The threat to the unity of the 27 by abandoning Ireland is much bigger than any sense that their exporters are going to lose out.”
Source: Tony Connelly, RTE
Anyways - more to follow