Emily Thornberry – 2020 Comments on Boeing-Airbus Dispute

The comments made by Emily Thornberry, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, on 9 December 2020.

Whatever long-term hopes of a US trade deal may lie behind this announcement, and whatever the truth about the legal advice the government has received, the immediate facts and consequences are clear.

Liz Truss is unilaterally capitulating in a dispute caused in part by unlawful US subsidies, even while those subsidies are – in the words of her own statement – continuing to cause significant harm to Airbus, a vital business and employer for our country.

She is doing so with no apparent guarantees that the harm being done to Airbus will come to an end any time soon, and with no public assurances from Washington that punitive US tariffs on Scotch whisky and other UK exports will be removed in response.

We are therefore left to hope against all prior evidence that the government knows what it is doing, because on the surface of this announcement, Liz Truss is leaving Airbus, the Scotch Whisky industry, and their thousands of employees totally undefended in this dispute, while receiving absolutely nothing from the US in return.