Aerospace Industry

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 2017.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley 12:00 am, 27th April 2017

What recent discussions his Department has had with the aerospace industry on the negotiations for the UK leaving the EU.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney

What recent discussions his Department has had with the aerospace industry on the negotiations for the UK leaving the EU.

Photo of David Jones David Jones Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union)

Engagement with industry is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position. The Department has been listening and talking to aerospace manufacturers and industry groups across the UK and internationally, including Rolls Royce, Airbus, ADS and the aerospace growth partnership.

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your forbearance, if nothing else. [Interruption.] And for much more. Does my right hon. Friend the Minister welcome Boeing’s investment in the new hangar maintenance facility at Gatwick airport as proof of the expanding aviation sector, even post Brexit?

Photo of David Jones David Jones Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union)

Yes, indeed. Boeing has announced 100 new jobs at its facility at Gatwick. Aviation and the aerospace industry are vital parts of our economy, and we have no doubt that they will continue to thrive after we have left the European Union.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney

I am grateful to the Minister for mentioning Airbus, which has a very large component at RAF Brize Norton in my constituency. Will the Minister please tell me what discussions he has had with such companies to reassure them that in a post-Brexit Britain, not only will their supply chains be secure, but they will be well placed to make the most of a global, outward-facing Britain?

Photo of David Jones David Jones Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union)

I have had several discussions with various aerospace companies, including Airbus, which I met in Bristol recently. We do understand that supply chains across Europe are heavily integrated, but there is a clear mutual interest in agreeing trading arrangements. The British aerospace industry is the most important in Europe, and there is a mutual interest in ensuring that the relationships persist beyond Brexit.