Dawn Foster never does quite get the right end of the stick, does she?

So the intervention of Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, appears to be a work of genius. Airbus has negotiated a majority 50.1% stake in Bombardier’s C-series jet programme without having to pay anything for it. In doing so, the 300% import duty can be neatly sidestepped because the final stage of the construction of jets destined for the US market will take place in Alabama, rather than Belfast. In doing so, Airbus will not be importing completed planes but parts, bringing sorely needed jobs to a Republican state – a move that is unlikely to annoy US politicians.

If Airbus’s legal advice is firm, and the deal passes muster with the US government, it will have snatched the much-delayed C-Series from the abyss and hopefully secured a thousand jobs.

But while the US and Boeing are clearly the Goliaths in this parable, May cannot cast herself as the bold and canny David. For all the Conservatives’ insistence that Britain and Northern Ireland will be “open for business”, it was clear that the prime minister had no clout with Trump and Congress – yielding not a deal but only stern and plaintive public pronouncements on the import tax being a travesty.

Instead, Airbus has succeeded in outsmarting the larger Boeing. So as we near the Brexit deadline, a pan-European project has come to the rescue of UK jobs.

Well, the planes never would have been assembled in Belfast. But still, look at what the claim is. Brexit means we’ve no power over trade, we’re all doomed.

And then what happens is that despite Brexit cooperation across Europe continues, business not being as dependent upon politics as is generally thought. Woe is us eh?

7 thoughts on “Dawn Foster never does quite get the right end of the stick, does she?”

  1. “Dawn Foster never does quite get the right end of he stick, does she?”

    She’s a Guardian columnist. What do you expect?

  2. “But Bombardier’s nightmare may still not be over: it is difficult to predict how exports will fare outside the customs union and single market”

    A plant owned by a Canadian company that sends it’s output directly to Quebec, for assembly into a product sold globally, will be hampered by being outside the customs union and single market??

    The last time Europe was a major destination for that factory’s products was when it was knocking out Short Stirlings.

  3. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    And of course any lack of support from the POTUS is nothing to do with British politcians, including Mrs May, being rude and insulting about said gentleman.

  4. ‘In doing so, the 300% import duty can be neatly sidestepped because the final stage of the construction of jets destined for the US market will take place in Alabama, rather than Belfast. ’

    Depends. Normally it is percentage content, both labour and component, defined in the tariff rules that counts, not where final assembly takes place.

    I recall this was a contentious issue in the days of the EEC when the likes of Sony and Honda started making stuff in the UK for the European market.

  5. And as usual, these analyses always forget that Boeing is itself a massive investor and employer in the UK, and well as a huge customer for a large number of major UK firms. The PM can hardly go on the political warpath against them.

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