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 repeat my thanks and admiration for the work of the hon. Gentleman, who is standing up for his constituents with vigour and strength. I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute, too, to the leader of the DUP, and indeed to community leaders across Northern Ireland, for the united response that they have made. We are disappointed not only with the response, in terms of the proposed tariffs, but with some of the words that have been used around this. It seems to me that the case is overwhelming: we can demonstrate that any aid that has been given is not only completely in line with international norms, but consistent with the type of assistance that Boeing has had over time. We expect to be able to demonstrate that in a convincing way.

It also seems to me impossible to establish detriment to Boeing, given that it does not have a competitor aircraft. The process of the hearings is that, following the initial determination, there is a further call for evidence, and the evidence that we, completely hand in hand with the Canadians, will present will demonstrate that. We look to the US to make sure that this is a rigorous process and is not politically influenced.

We have been very clear. The Defence Secretary, on a visit to Northern Ireland, was very clear, as I have been, that this is not the behaviour we expect from a trusted partner, and could have implications for the future relationship between Boeing and the United Kingdom.