ROLLS-ROYCE has warned that uncertainty around Brexit means it could have to start stockpiling parts.

The UK engine-maker’s chief executive told reporters at the Farnborough Airshow, where it demonstrated its vision of how robotics could be used to revolutionise the future of engine maintenance, that the company might have to stockpile as part of contingency plans if clarity on the Brexit process isn't forthcoming.

Warren East said the company, which has plants in Renfrewshire and East Kilbride, was putting plans in place to cover all outcomes, including a disorderly or “no-deal” Brexit which would see Britain leave the EU without an agreement on future trading relations.

Mr East added it could have to start stockpiling parts “probably in Q4 this year”. He said it was “frustrating” that while Prime Minister Theresa May’s White Paper on the way forward after Brexit was “positive” there remained many unknownfactors.

Several companies with significant business in Britain have issued warnings about the risks to investment and jobs from Brexit.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Lloyds Banking Group “plans to operate three subsidiaries in continental Europe after Britain leaves the EU, according to a source familiar with the matter, in a sign of how Brexit is fragmenting a banking industry long concentrated in London”.

The group, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, was widely expected to manage its continental business from one new subsidiary in Berlin.