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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 grateful for the questions from the Chairman of the Select Committee. In terms of the process, only Boeing can withdraw the complaint. There is an administrative requirement on the part of the Department of Commerce to determine, initially, a complaint, hence the desire—and I think it is highly desirable—that Boeing withdraw this complaint. If it will not—and, so far, it has not—it must be determined in a completely fair and objective way. If it is, it will have no merit, and will be thrown out. Both are therefore important, but it would be in the interests of everyone in the workforce and in the country that the complaint be withdrawn so that this uncertainty can be taken away.

In terms of the points that I put to Dennis Muilenburg, who is the chief executive of Boeing, we were very clear that Boeing has a reputation in this country that was beginning to grow in a positive way through the investment in Sheffield and elsewhere, and to jeopardise that reputation and relationship by doing something that is completely unjustified is something that I do not regard as in the strategic interests of Boeing, and I said that very explicitly in terms.