Short Brothers plc

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 7th June 1989.

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Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 3:31 pm, 7th June 1989

I have set out the main commitments but I have made it clear that in future the Government will treat Bombardier-Shorts in the same way as a normal private sector company in Northern Ireland.

I particularly appreciate my hon. Friend's comments about my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers). The difficulty about the whole situation was that this change was absolutely vital if Shorts was to survive. It was not entirely possible to let people in Northern Ireland really understand the seriousness of the situation. We tried to get an element of realism in the approach, but that was not always appreciated. My hon. Friend the Member for Gosport had to take a great deal of flak over that and he deserves great credit for the successful outcome that I have been able to announce to the House.

The agreement offers an exciting prospect for the future. I know that it is very closely in line, although not totally in line, with some of the recommendations that my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings and Rye (Mr. Warren) and his colleagues in the Select Committee pressed upon us.