The Government has made a statement to the Commons following the announcement of almost 500 job losses at Bombardier in Northern Ireland. Earlier this month, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer announced 5000 job losses worldwide, with the two thirds of these in Canada.
Despite reporting a 57% rise in profits in February of this year, Bombardier cited a need to "continue to cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness".
The profit rise was driven largely by the company's train manufacture business, while the commercial aircraft division's profits fell. The company has been embroiled in a trade row with the US Commercial department over the threat of potential tariffs on imported aircraft of over 200%.
A spokesperson for the Unite union called the announced job losses, "a cruel blow for the Bombardier workforce," while Ulster Unionist Member of the Legislative Assembly, Andy Allen said,
"It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Bombardier to not just east Belfast but the economic wellbeing of Northern Ireland,"
Richard Harrington, a Minister within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, gave the statement. He claimed he "recognised that this was unwelcome news for the Belfast workforce and their families." He went on to state that Bombardier was a private company, and the Government had no role in their decisions.
The response to the statement was made initially by Barry Gardiner MP. He argued that Bombardier downsizing its UK operations had significant implications across the UK. He criticised the Government position that they had no role.
Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber. Please fill in our quick feedback survey to help us improve our news content.