Bombardier

Part of Race Disparity Audit – in the House of Commons at 2:17 pm on 10th October 2017.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 2:17 pm, 10th October 2017

I am disappointed with the hon. Lady’s response. If anyone is putting politics ahead of the welfare of workers, the evidence was there. She asked some reasonable questions, which have reasonable answers. I said in my statement that the European Commission had been engaged. Commissioner Malmström has been consulted, as have other member states across the European Union. As for the Irish Government, Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Minister, has been engaged as well. On the issue of submitting evidence to the Trade Commission in the United States, that has indeed been provided, and, in response to the initial determination, further information will be provided to make it clear that there are no grounds for demonstrating detriment to Boeing, as this aircraft does not compete with Boeing. That has been addressed in clear terms.

Engagement across Government, the Province of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland has been consistent and unrelenting right from the beginning. I will not detail all the meetings that have been held and the calls that have been made, but they will continue—no stone will be left unturned. We have had 24 calls or meetings with the US Administration, 12 with Boeing executives, and 20 with the Government of Canada. Every day during this process, we have been engaged in getting rid of this unjustified complaint. I would welcome the support of the whole House in this endeavour. I wish to put on record my gratitude to the trade unions, which have played a very constructive role. When it comes to making the case for this action being totally unjustified, I would like to think that this House is completely united not only in looking to the importance of the Bombardier presence in Belfast, but in underlining our total determination to throw out and see dismissed this unjustified action.