Aerospace Sector

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th January 2018.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Government enjoy a strong partnership with the aerospace sector through the Aerospace Growth Partnership. Since 2010, the sector’s turnover has grown from £24 billion to £34 billion, and exports have almost doubled. Following the excellent and wholly justified ruling of the United States International Trade Commission on Friday night, I am delighted that Bombardier in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency will be able to look forward to a bright future.

Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence)

Hear, hear! I was overjoyed on Friday night when Bombardier unanimously won its case with the United States International Trade Commission. In paying tribute to the Secretary of State and to the Minister responsible for the aerospace industry, I ask that they stand resolute against any appeal that may be lodged and ensure that the C Series, now that it is finally ready for take-off, is the true success we know it can be.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I will indeed. I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman for the stalwart in which he and his colleagues stood up for their constituents and, indeed, the supply chain that covers the whole United Kingdom. Right from the beginning, this has been a joint endeavour between us, the Canadian Government, the company and everyone with an interest in the success of Bombardier.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Conservative, Chelmsford

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the future of our space and aerospace industries is key to our economic future and that practical measures like the new Space Industry Bill will open up new opportunities?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I do indeed. Space is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, and we are world leaders in it. Through the Bill, we will ensure that we have the right regulatory regime to underpin that.

Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Since the aerospace sector requires long-term planning and investment, does the Secretary of State not share my alarm at the threatened takeover of the leading tier 1 supplier GKN by a turnaround company specialising in maximising shareholder returns over five years maximum? Is this not a national security issue?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The right hon. Gentleman is a previous occupant of my post, so he knows that the powers that the Secretary of State has over these things have to be exercised in a quasi-judicial way. Therefore, I should not, and cannot, comment on that case. However, he will know, because he has written to me, that I have spoken to both chief executives, and I am keeping it under close review.

Photo of Luke Graham Luke Graham Conservative, Ochil and South Perthshire

It is good to hear my right hon. Friend talk about the importance of aerospace. Will he consider the aerospace initiative that is being proposed in Kinross-shire in my constituency as part of the Tay cities deal, and will he or other colleagues meet me to discuss it?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

My colleagues and I will be very happy to meet my hon. Friend to develop the full potential of aerospace in his constituency.