Engagement with industry is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position. The Department has been listening and talking to aerospace manufacturers and industry groups across the UK and internationally, including Rolls-Royce, Airbus, ADS and the aerospace growth partnership.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your forbearance, if nothing else. [Interruption.] And for much more. Does my right hon. Friend the Minister welcome Boeing’s investment in the new hangar maintenance facility at Gatwick airport as proof of the expanding aviation sector, even post Brexit?
I am grateful to the Minister for mentioning Airbus, which has a very large component at RAF Brize Norton in my constituency. Will the Minister please tell me what discussions he has had with such companies to reassure them that in a post-Brexit Britain, not only will their supply chains be secure, but they will be well placed to make the most of a global, outward-facing Britain?
I have had several discussions with various aerospace companies, including Airbus, which I met in Bristol recently. We do understand that supply chains across Europe are heavily integrated, but there is a clear mutual interest in agreeing trading arrangements. The British aerospace industry is the most important in Europe, and there is a mutual interest in ensuring that the relationships persist beyond Brexit.