Following the Government statement on the Airbus Brexit risk assessment report, Iain Duncan Smith highlights Siemens as an example of companies investing in the UK with a £200 million investment in Goole, attracted by the talent available in the UK.
May I thank my right hon. Friend for coming so quickly to the House? When he was answering the original question, did he notice the irony that Siemens, among many other companies, has already been showing its faith in the UK even before this, with a £200 million investment in Goole to make sure that it is able to be here because it is where the talent lies? Would he not also consider it slightly ironic if the complaints from Airbus were such that it actually moved its production to China, given that China has never even been in the European Union?
My right hon. Friend is right. I hope that he would acknowledge that my Department and this Government are energetic in promoting the advantages of locating in Britain, and not just at the new facility in Goole—I had the great privilege of opening the Siemens blade factory in Hull, employing 1,000 people. People locate in this country because it is a good place in which to invest. We have an environment of innovation and excellence—it is a tribute to the workforce—and we want to keep it that way. It is therefore incumbent on us, when we have industrial investors who are committing for years ahead, to listen to what they say about the requirements from the negotiation. He and I completely agree that in that relationship, we want to make sure that we do not have tariffs and we do not have frictions. That is what the company wants, that is what we want, and now we need to agree it with our European counterparts.