International Investment - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:37 pm on 17th October 2017.

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Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:37 pm, 17th October 2017

My noble friend makes two important points. On Boeing, I cannot swear to it, but I think the Prime Minister has spoken to Boeing directly about this issue. Certainly, my right honourable friend Greg Clark, in the other place, is also in touch with Boeing. Boeing has two big investments in this country, which relate to helicopters and to a new facility it has opened in Sheffield, so it is an important part of our economy. I assure my noble friend that we are having conversations of the kind that he describes with Boeing. I understand my noble friend’s point that this consultation might lead to some companies pre-empting this and coming forward to buy a British company now rather than later. We have considerable soft power in these areas, so we can use quite a lot of influence behind the scenes to prevent that happening. But we certainly need to bear that consideration in mind.