Lyttle says questions raised by Bombardier investigation

Alliance East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle has said questions have been raised by a BBC Spotlight investigation into the UK Government’s response to the trade dispute between Bombardier and Boeing.

According to the programme, the UK Government submitted four pages of legal argument to a key hearing of the International Trade Commission in December, with the Canadian Government submitting over 170 pages. DUP MP Gavin Robinson claimed it was “a dispute between a Canadian company and US company”.

Mr Lyttle said the UK Government and the DUP had a responsibility to stand up for jobs in Northern Ireland.

“My colleague Naomi Long and I previously wrote to the UK Government seeking their full support for Bombardier jobs here. The UK Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark MP, assured us they were working ‘tirelessly to protect UK interests at Bombardier Belfast’ and ‘defending the (US ITC) case against the UK robustly’.

“However, information presented in last night’s BBC Spotlight programme has raised questions about that Government response to action which places thousands of jobs and the future of Northern Ireland’s largest employer at risk. Alliance will once again be meeting with Bombardier after the decision, as well as trade unions, to do what we can to help protect these vital jobs.

“It is concerning the DUP has described this matter as a dispute between Canada and the US, when thousands of jobs here are at risk. There was a clear expectation the UK Government would insert themselves forcibly into this process, as they have done in other such disputes affecting jobs in England. They have a duty to fight for jobs in Northern Ireland and we need to ensure they leave no stone unturned in doing so.”

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