Live Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Questions House of Commons


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Live Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Greg Clark and his team of ministers.


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Welcome to BBC Parliament's live

coverage of the House of Commons. In

0:00:090:00:15

one hour, Philip Hammond the cancer

of the Exchequer will make his

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spring statement, the slimmed down

version of the Spring Budget. The

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Chancellor is expected to resist

calls for an end to austerity

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policies. It is billed as a short

statement but you never really know

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with these things. John McDonnell

will respond for the opposition. And

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people are Mac will then make a

series of... Changes to Universal

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Credit, and more. Join me at 11pm

for a round-up. First, Greg Clark.

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Number one.

My ministerial

colleagues and I have discussions

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regularly with the Welsh Government.

My officials were in Cardiff to

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discuss the proposed Swansea tidal

lagoon.

Last week. At the heart of

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the Industrial Strategy is spreading

prosperity across the whole of the

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United Kingdom and working with

devolved administrations in our

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nations and regions to achieve this.

Working with practical developers to

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develop marine energy. Will the

Secretary of State make a decision

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work with Welsh Government, with

developers, so we can roll out,

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maximise our potential and spread

prosperity in this part of the

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United Kingdom?

The enthusiasm for

green energy, I am proud of our

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achievements. We have quadrupled the

proportion of our renewable

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electricity since 2010. We have a

responsibility to minimise the

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impact on consumers' bills. The

Swansea proposal was very much more

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expensive, more than twice as

expensive as the Hinckley

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nuclear-power station for example.

We are in discussion with our

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colleagues in the Welsh Government

and don't want to close the door on

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something if it is possible.

Can I

also see that making a decision on

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the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon is

important for Wales as a whole, more

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the goons around Newport following

the Swansea find and we cannot pass

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these opportunities up.

I take the

point. The First Minister wrote to

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me yesterday acknowledging the

genuine challengers, considering a

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proposal with untried technology and

high capital costs and

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uncertainties. It is best to explore

all of the responsibilities. --

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possibilities.

With your permission,

this would question 20. Government

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research in consumer satisfaction

published in August last year shows

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satisfaction with smart meters are

high. 80% of consumers are satisfied

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and would recommend them to friends

and family. Smart Energy GB found

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nearly 90% of people with a smart

meter change their behaviour

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patterns and make energy savings.

It

is good to hear that so many people

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are reaping the benefits from smart

meters. No system is ever perfect.

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For a small number of customers like

one of my clubs in Aikens this -- my

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constituency. They are getting

unhelpful responses from their

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electricity provider.

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My honourable friend made a point

about the Junior club in his

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constituency, I would meet with him

specifically but I have not found

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that generally to be the case. The

roll-out of smart meters is an

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important national modernisation

programme bringing benefits to

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consumers and his constituents.

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My supplementary question. Smart

meters are good for consumers and

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suppliers alike but the roll-out

relies on a good mobile phone signal

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for effectiveness. In many parts of

rural Scotland, that is not the

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case. Can the Minister reassure me

he is working across the Government

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and with relevant stakeholders to

make sure residents in rural areas

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benefit from smart meters? My

apologies.

I agree entirely. We are

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working on that. Our solution covers

Scotland and contracted to cover

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nearly all premises by 2020.

Does

the Minister accept his stance based

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on surveys carried out about ten

weeks after installation, my own

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survey found 54% of constituents

would currently refuse a smart

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meter. 97% want to see the cost of

the programme shown on their bills.

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74% said that receiving one has not

yet made any difference to the size

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of their bills. Would you also take

those findings into account?

The

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honourable gentleman knows me well

enough to know I am very interested

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in anything he has to say. He

contributed a lot to the passage of

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the bill in the House of Commons and

I would like to receive those

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statistics, I do not just quote one

sample, because I get them from

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different places.

I am sure the

Minister is speaking in good faith

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but I have come across constituents

who find bills are actually

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increasing. As he had discussions

with utility companies about keeping

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an eye on this and making sure the

effect of smart meters is to reduce

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costs, for many constituents are

poor.

I am surprised to hear this.

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We are both talking in good faith. I

would like to hear those examples

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but I can't expand why bills would

go up. Nearly 90% of smart meters

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say it is changing the energy

patterns and bills are going down.

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Can the Minister update us where we

are with the role of...

He talks

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about the newer type of meter,

smets2. The first one studs all new

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ones will be smets2.

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The smart meter becomes a dumb

meter... Can he puts a timeline on

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the roll-out?

In place shortly after

the summer, the measures will make

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sure that does not happen. The small

number of smets1 which do not become

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a smart meter, they will become

compliant and they were speak to

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each other electronically.

I think

we should all be proud of the

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progress the UK has made in meeting

its carbon reduction targets.

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Current statistics show we have met

our first Budget, are on track to

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exceed our second and third budgets

and 97% and 95% of where we need to

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be to meet the fourth and fifth

budgets. IKEA groaning. I think

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these are decent numbers even though

we are ten and 15 years away.

The

0:08:530:09:02

lack of focus and ambition from the

Tory Government means we are set to

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miss our legally binding carbon

targets. Repeal the ban on onshore

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wind. Prioritise energy efficient

measures in zero carbon homes and

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commit to the Swansea Bay tidal

lagoon. When will the Government

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gets its act together, demonstrate

its commitment to future generations

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and get on with it?

Perhaps she

wrote that before hearing the

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answer. Let me share with the

honourable lady two facts. Britain

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has led the world in de-colonising

our economy. At present I'm not

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delivering carbon cuts.

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Two countries in the world's leading

a two degree target. China and the

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UK. We have set out the most

ambitious set of policies and

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proposals ever seen from the

Government in the Queen growth

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strategy. Bringing that forward and

it would be nice to feel cross-party

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consensus on doing something that is

so vital for the future of the

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country and the world.

I am

interested to hear when she said

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that we were on target for three

carbon budgets but will miss the

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fourth. In the words of the climate

change committee, they said the

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fourth carbon Budget won't be met

unless policies are supplemented by

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more challenging measures. She spoke

about ambition. What are those

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challenging measures?

The

calculations for the fourth and

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fifth carbon budgets which end in

1015 years' time, which we are 95

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and 97% of the way to meeting are

based on an analysis of only 13% of

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the policies and proposals in the

growth strategy. -- Queen growth

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strategy. My right honourable friend

's think that is quite good. --

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clean growth. I am confident we will

meet our budgets with our ambitious

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polity, ingenuity of British

business and science and frank with

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the strong campaigning and structure

of the Climate Change Act, which we

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were the first country of the world

to pass.

Does she agree with me

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that's improving home energy

efficiency measures would help us

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meet our carbon budgets going

forward?

The honourable lady led an

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accident debate on this in

Westminster. Aspect of cross-party

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consensus. -- excellent debate. We

have set our home in efficiency

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targets in band C for 2025. We are

bringing forward the eco-targets.

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If we are to reach our carbon

targets, clearly nuclear power will

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be central to that. Is the Minister

confident in progress is being made

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to see the construction of nuclear

plants in Anglesey and Cumbria?

As

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he knows, making these long-term

decisions and creating costs for

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consumers over decades, whether in

tidal lagoons or nuclear, are

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matters we have to take seriously.

We have to reduce carbon emissions

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in the power supply, reduce cost for

consumers and create innovation to

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export around the world. Those

considerations are all being taken

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into account.

The government will

need to support offshore wind

0:13:010:13:03

projects. In Scottish waters, Jim

Ryan Trident are working to deliver

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projects. Due to factors outwith

their control, they will struggle to

0:13:100:13:14

hit UK Government deadlines in

October. Will the Minister to

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discuss how we might support these

projects to make their contribution

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to carbon reduction?

We have worked

hard on these innovations. The

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challenge is that the thes out of

the obligations were set four years

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ago. Were not intending to extend

periods. As he knows, I'm always

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willing to build cross-party

consensus on this vital issue.

I'm

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sure it's not the Minister was my

intention to mislead the host, but

0:13:580:14:04

her statements about us being 96% of

our way towards meeting our fourth

0:14:040:14:09

and fifth carbon budgets need to put

in the context of the fact that we

0:14:090:14:13

are committed to reducing between

the fourth and fifth carbon budgets,

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CO2 emissions by 200 million tonnes

but the government's amount only

0:14:190:14:33

register by 100 million tonnes. What

are the Minister's proposals to

0:14:330:14:43

ensure that the outstanding 109

million tonnes are reduced?

He is a

0:14:430:14:50

clever scientific fellow and he

knows those numbers are referring to

0:14:500:14:53

the baseline numbers of 1990. I

would be happy to sit down with them

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on goal line by line through the

carbon budgets because again he and

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I need to be absolutely clear that

regardless of what this government

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and future governments do, those

budgets had to be fit to practice

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and we have to be clear and

transparent about how we're going to

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meet them, which is exactly what the

clean growth strategy has done.

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Britain is building one of the best

charge point networks in the world.

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Our 400 million fund will see

thousands more charge points

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installed across the UK.

Yesterday,

the select committee visited the

0:15:380:15:45

electric vehicle company in my

constituency. It opened last year

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and it is great when nursing

electric taxis on the streets of

0:15:510:15:55

London. In Milton Keynes, we heard

can seems that we heard concerns

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about the lack of compatibility is

putting people what can the

0:16:020:16:05

Secretary of State do to encourage

the industry to adopt a standard?

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I'm delighted the committee went to

see the electric taxi company. It

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was a fantastic event that my

honourable friend accompanied me

0:16:170:16:21

out, opening at. The recently

introduced alternative fuels

0:16:210:16:29

infrastructure legislation speaks of

publicly accessible charge points.

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The government will have new powers

to regulate this technical sector.

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If there is an uptake and there is

growth, the strain on the system,

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the idea that electric vehicles do

not use a great deal of power is not

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true and there are concerns about

strain on the system.

We have one of

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the best access to the network in

the world. Especially for fast

0:17:050:17:11

charges. In terms of the electricity

grid, he is absolutely right that

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electric vehicles can make a

contribution to the resilience of

0:17:160:17:19

the great because the batteries they

contain can store electricity that

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is generated by renewables at the

time when it is needed. That is part

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of the smart system's plan.

One of

the constraints people feel about

0:17:300:17:36

buying cars at the moment is there

is a limited range. So does he

0:17:360:17:41

welcomed the initiative of the Mayor

of the West Midlands, along with the

0:17:410:17:47

government, for the introduction of

battery research Centre here in the

0:17:470:17:52

West Midlands?

There isn't questions

session that goes by without me

0:17:520:18:01

welcoming the initiative of the

Mayor of the West Midlands. We are

0:18:010:18:05

investing at the cutting edge of

battery technology, so we can build

0:18:050:18:10

the cars of the future.

Specifically, what comfort can the

0:18:100:18:15

Secretary of State give to the

people of Bristol who wish to see

0:18:150:18:18

the number of electronic charging

points massively increased?

I'm

0:18:180:18:24

delighted there is such enthusiasm.

She will be aware the funding that

0:18:240:18:27

is available for charging

infrastructure is available

0:18:270:18:34

especially for city Centre

authorities who can put it into

0:18:340:18:37

public car parks.

The government

remains committed to supporting the

0:18:370:18:45

industry and building over -- on the

budget outlines. I enjoyed my recent

0:18:450:18:59

visit to Aberdeen. Industry

presented its proposals for a deal.

0:18:590:19:03

There is a meeting tomorrow. The oil

and gas industry is in the

0:19:030:19:09

north-east of Scotland have

contributed over £340 billion to the

0:19:090:19:13

economy. As a supply chain, it is

worth nearly £30 billion. With an

0:19:130:19:24

estimated 30 million barrels of oil

still to...

We need a single

0:19:240:19:34

sentence question. There isn't time.

What does the Minister intend to do

0:19:340:19:44

to develop the industry?

Yes, I do.

What discussion has the Minister had

0:19:440:19:55

with the Treasury regarding the HMRC

changes for the gas and oil

0:19:550:20:01

industry?

I will give a very quick

and succinct answer, as your vast. I

0:20:010:20:11

don't know and I'm happy to meet the

honourable member to discuss.

Can I

0:20:110:20:18

ask my honourable friend what

consideration he is giving to the

0:20:180:20:22

downstream sector? Each one of our

oil refineries are important. They

0:20:220:20:27

could benefit from clear long-term

thinking.

The whole sector is very

0:20:270:20:34

important to us. Specifically the

supply chain. I met with various

0:20:340:20:38

other players involved in this and

it is something that is of critical

0:20:380:20:42

importance to us.

The UK Government

has so far failed to announce a

0:20:420:20:48

sector deal for oil and gas and

there was no mention of one in its

0:20:480:20:53

industrial strategy. There is a need

for a sector deal approach to the

0:20:530:20:56

industry and the Scottish Government

has been calling for such action.

0:20:560:21:00

Will the Minister finally rectify

this glaring omission and commit

0:21:000:21:04

this vital support for the industry

and the jobs and investment it

0:21:040:21:10

relies on?

The honourable gentleman

should be aware that this is a

0:21:100:21:12

priority for us. Were working hard

with the sector to come up with a

0:21:120:21:15

sector deal and I am expecting those

talks to come into fruition very

0:21:150:21:22

soon.

The automotive sector deal

will insure the UK continues to reap

0:21:220:21:29

the benefits from reading the

transition to zero emission and

0:21:290:21:33

autonomous vehicles. Last month,

this true in £33 million of

0:21:330:21:37

investment into the UK-based

connected and autonomous vehicle

0:21:370:21:44

programmes, with participation

across the industry.

Jaguar Land

0:21:440:21:47

Rover recently developed and

electric performance SUV. The London

0:21:470:21:57

Electric company has also developed

the world's first electric taxi.

0:21:570:22:05

Would he join me in congratulating

these companies?

They are iconic

0:22:050:22:10

images and to see them leading the

way into the future is a matter of

0:22:100:22:14

great delight. I congratulate both

companies for choosing the UK to

0:22:140:22:20

manufacture these vehicles.

What

does the Secretary of State doing to

0:22:200:22:24

help the development regarding the

transition from diesel to petrol and

0:22:240:22:33

diesel to electric vehicles,

particularly with regard to helping

0:22:330:22:39

the infrastructure?

Were working

closely with the industry to make

0:22:390:22:44

sure that as they develop the new

technologies of the future they are

0:22:440:22:49

able to plan a smooth transition to

a world in which all of these

0:22:490:22:55

vehicles will be compatible with our

climate objectives.

All these new

0:22:550:23:00

electric vehicles are going to need

batteries, of which lithium is an

0:23:000:23:04

essential element. Recent

discoveries of large deposits of

0:23:040:23:08

lithium in Cornwall open up the

possibility of the UK securing a

0:23:080:23:12

domestic supply for this vital

element. What support can Secretary

0:23:120:23:17

of State give to this exciting new

emerging sector?

We have the

0:23:170:23:23

potential for new developments in

battery storage. If Cornwall can

0:23:230:23:28

supply the lithium to power that new

industry, then I'm delighted to hear

0:23:280:23:32

it and I will discuss further with

my honourable friend the

0:23:320:23:36

possibilities.

At yesterday's select

committee visit, it became very

0:23:360:23:41

apparent that the market for

electric vehicles is maturing at a

0:23:410:23:44

much faster rate than many people

realise. Is it possible that the

0:23:440:23:48

ambition of the sector itself is

outstripping ambition of the

0:23:480:23:52

government and shouldn't the 2040

target be brought forward, perhaps

0:23:520:23:56

even by a decade?

When it comes to

the new generation of automotive

0:23:560:24:02

technology, this government is not

outstripped by anyone. We are

0:24:020:24:05

working closely with the industry

through the automotive Council to

0:24:050:24:08

make sure we are the best place in

the world to research the

0:24:080:24:13

technologies but also to manufacture

was technologies in this country.

On

0:24:130:24:25

the automotive theme, the

government's long-term partnership

0:24:250:24:28

of the automotive industry as an

exemplar of our industrial strategy.

0:24:280:24:31

A fortnight ago, I went to

Derbyshire to welcome Toyota's

0:24:310:24:35

decision to build their new vehicle

in Burnaston, helping to secure 3000

0:24:350:24:41

jobs between Burnaston and Deeside

in North Wales.

I'm sure the

0:24:410:24:44

Secretary of State will have been

alarmed by the comments made by the

0:24:440:24:50

Chief Executive of the PSA group

which owns a facility in my

0:24:500:24:58

constituency about Brexit and

uncertainties. Will he meet with me

0:24:580:25:09

to impact the confidence that plans?

It is very clear that we are

0:25:090:25:14

determined, as the Prime Minister

set out in her speech at the Mansion

0:25:140:25:17

House, to make sure that this very

important integrated supply chain is

0:25:170:25:24

able to operate. It's worth bearing

in mind that since I and my team

0:25:240:25:28

have been in our department, every

single major new model decision has

0:25:280:25:33

gone our way in this country and I'm

determined to keep up that accuracy.

0:25:330:25:42

Thank you. The automotive sector is

crucial to the UK industry. It

0:25:420:25:47

employs some 814,000 people and we

are all proud of British car

0:25:470:25:52

manufacturers, including the iconic

Rolls-Royce and Jaguar. Yet, in

0:25:520:25:57

recent weeks, President Trump has

revealed an appetite for a trade war

0:25:570:26:01

which began with the announcement of

steel tariffs and now includes

0:26:010:26:07

threats to put tariffs on EU cars

which could hit our industry hard.

0:26:070:26:13

What is he doing to avoid a trade

war with the US? And should such

0:26:130:26:17

tariffs come into play, what will he

do to protect our sectors?

0:26:170:26:23

Yesterday, the trade Secretary give

a comprehensive statement. There was

0:26:230:26:29

some welcome for the cross-party

approach that went into defending

0:26:290:26:33

the international system of free

trade. It does no one any good if

0:26:330:26:37

you have tariffs in place as that

impede cheese trade. I would have

0:26:370:26:42

thought her endorsement of the

approach the trade Secretary was

0:26:420:26:45

taking would be welcome.

0:26:450:26:54

I Wood Group this together with 19.

The official receiver and a special

0:26:540:27:00

manager are working to an orderly

transition by facilitating the

0:27:000:27:07

transfer of contracts. As of the

12th of March, 8521 jobs had been

0:27:070:27:14

safeguarded and 1536 people have

been made redundant, sadly, through

0:27:140:27:18

liquidation. My right honourable

friend, the Business Secretary, has

0:27:180:27:23

set up a task force involving trade

associations, bankers and

0:27:230:27:30

representatives of Government to

support the Carillion supply chain.

0:27:300:27:33

The task force has brought in £900

million from support from UK

0:27:330:27:39

lenders.

If there is any doubt that

Tupe applies, will... Will trade

0:27:390:27:55

union recognition be transferred

with those staff?

I refer to the

0:27:550:28:01

recent Westminster Hall debate where

we debated the legal

0:28:010:28:06

responsibilities with relation to

Tupe which do not apply in many

0:28:060:28:10

cases during liquidation. Offer in

terms to transferring employees...

0:28:100:28:19

The Government is focused to make

sure transferred employees are no

0:28:190:28:24

worse than the official receiver is

doing all he can to facilitate this

0:28:240:28:28

wherever possible.

The Carillion

collapse has exposed market abuse

0:28:280:28:35

with wheat contract is with

contractors in Cheltenham

0:28:350:28:43

suffering... What is being done to

ensure compliance to the schemes and

0:28:430:28:50

stamp out market abuse?

My

honourable friend who has met me on

0:28:500:28:53

a number of occasions to defend the

interests of businesses in his

0:28:530:28:57

constituency will know the

Government had two priorities, to

0:28:570:29:01

protect the provision of services,

vital public services, and do what

0:29:010:29:08

we can to protect jobs employed by

Carillion and jobs in the supply

0:29:080:29:11

chain. We are clear we must learn

the lessons from the collapse of

0:29:110:29:16

Carillion. This could be a catalyst

for change for the good. We must do

0:29:160:29:22

all we can to learn the lessons with

regards to procurement and do more

0:29:220:29:28

to ensure the supply chain are

promptly paid and small businesses

0:29:280:29:32

are paid speedily, looking at the

prompt payment code is an important

0:29:320:29:37

part of that.

Following on, when

Carillion went bankrupt and many of

0:29:370:29:46

the subcontractors have not been

paid for 120 days, and the money

0:29:460:29:51

coming to Carillion was from the

Government. What is the Government

0:29:510:29:54

doing that when it gets contracts to

big businesses they are paying

0:29:540:30:04

contractors on time? Small

contractors are being destroyed...

I

0:30:040:30:09

applaud the work area committee is

doing of getting to the bottom of

0:30:090:30:12

what happened with Carillion. With

public sector contracts we pay with

0:30:120:30:17

30 days and expect Tier one

contractors to pay in 30 days, too.

0:30:170:30:24

We are determined to take action to

ensure this happens and looking at

0:30:240:30:28

what we can do not only to make sure

that small businesses in the public

0:30:280:30:32

sector supply chain get paid within

30 days, but also we do more to

0:30:320:30:38

support the private sector suppliers

as well.

What support has been given

0:30:380:30:43

to British nationals working abroad

who were with Carillion?

I thank

0:30:430:30:52

him. The main priority for this

Government has been to protect jobs

0:30:520:30:56

here in the UK and continue the

continuation of the public sector

0:30:560:31:02

contracts and services. The special

manager of course has a

0:31:020:31:06

responsibility to wind up the

business, get best for creditors. He

0:31:060:31:12

is responsible for dealing with

businesses overseas.

For the

0:31:120:31:18

Carillion workers who were not

transferred under the Tupe, what was

0:31:180:31:22

the degradation of their terms?

I

know she is working hard to make

0:31:220:31:32

sure her constituents employed by

Carillion get all the protections

0:31:320:31:35

possible. The Secretary of State has

had conversations with the special

0:31:350:31:39

manager to ensure that wherever

possible when contracts are

0:31:390:31:45

transferred the employees get like

conditions so they are no worse off.

0:31:450:31:49

As the honourable lady will

understand this is a complex and

0:31:490:31:52

complicated business and I do not at

the moment have an answer to the

0:31:520:31:55

specific statistics she requests.

Number 11. We want self-employed

0:31:550:32:06

people when it is the right thing

for them to be self-employed. This

0:32:060:32:10

is by the Government has introduced

new measures to make sure they are

0:32:100:32:14

even better supported. These include

improved support on embarking on

0:32:140:32:20

self-employed careers, encouraging

pension savings and supporting

0:32:200:32:22

people to pay the right tax. From

the 6th of April 2016, we have also

0:32:220:32:28

given self-employed people the

ability to build their entitlement

0:32:280:32:32

to the new state pension at the same

rate as employed people.

Lucky to

0:32:320:32:42

have a driving high street. Apollo

fisheries in morally were handing

0:32:420:32:47

out free food. -- Morley. Wilkie

congratulate the fisheries for the

0:32:470:33:04

Yorkshire hospitality?

I am no

stranger to a fish supper. I would

0:33:040:33:13

like to join her in congratulating

Apollo fisheries for their community

0:33:130:33:18

spirit. This demonstrate clearly

that businesses contribute not only

0:33:180:33:21

to the economy but our society. The

future high streets Forum provides

0:33:210:33:26

joint business and Government

leadership to enable our high

0:33:260:33:30

streets and town centres to adapt

and compete in the face of changing

0:33:300:33:33

consumer and social trends. We want

to go for this last week I announced

0:33:330:33:39

the establishment of the retail

sector Council bringing together

0:33:390:33:42

leaders in retail to help make

policies and support for the fighter

0:33:420:33:47

retail sector.

Whilst we all want to

see self-employment grow, we want to

0:33:470:33:55

crack down on apparent

self-employment where people are

0:33:550:33:59

forced to become self-employed by

exploitative employers who then save

0:33:590:34:06

National Insurance contributions

whilst putting all of the risks of

0:34:060:34:09

that employment on too often

vulnerable individuals. What is the

0:34:090:34:12

Government doing about that?

I am

sure the honourable lady will be

0:34:120:34:16

delighted to know the Government are

taking forward the proposals set out

0:34:160:34:21

by Matthew Taylor. We recognise that

status and whether workers are

0:34:210:34:27

employed or self-employed is key to

them getting not only the payment

0:34:270:34:31

but the protection they deserve.

That is why we have embarked on a

0:34:310:34:35

full consultation with an intention

to clarify the status of those

0:34:350:34:40

workers, to give them extra

protection and to ensure if it looks

0:34:400:34:44

like work, feels like work, it is

work and they are paid properly.

The

0:34:440:34:51

Government was my response to the

Taylor review did virtually nothing

0:34:510:34:55

to tackle the challenges and

insecurity self-employed people

0:34:550:34:59

face. Equally poor was the

Government's treatment of gig

0:34:590:35:05

workers. Don has died, they should

be making changes, that was what his

0:35:050:35:13

widow said. Matthew Taylor said the

response to the Taylor review was

0:35:130:35:20

four out of ten. I wonder what score

the Minister would give himself.

0:35:200:35:26

Seven weeks and, I think ten out of

ten. The Lady quotes Matthew Taylor,

0:35:260:35:34

what he has said clearly is that

this is a complex and complicated

0:35:340:35:39

matter. He wants us to get the

definition of status right because

0:35:390:35:43

the rights of thousands of gig

workers depend on it. That is why in

0:35:430:35:49

the quote she says he also says when

we are finished our consultation if

0:35:490:35:53

we deliver as we have promised he

would give seven or eight.

I wanted

0:35:530:35:59

to be ten. Ten out of ten, indeed.

The Chancellor might attempt to Lord

0:35:590:36:09

employment figures as positive news

but will fail to state 3 million

0:36:090:36:14

people are in insecure work. The

Centre for labour and social studies

0:36:140:36:22

say many do not have enough to live.

Despite assurances the quality of

0:36:220:36:27

work was worse. The Foreign

Secretary and other ministers are

0:36:270:36:32

pushing for a major employment law

deregulation. I ask him to confirm

0:36:320:36:37

whether his department is carrying

out any work looking at the

0:36:370:36:41

deregulation of certain employment

rights.

She must have pasted the

0:36:410:36:46

intention of what the Government

were doing with the Matthew Taylor

0:36:460:36:50

report. Not only are we committed to

guaranteeing we will continue with

0:36:500:36:56

employment rights and protections

that we currently have, this

0:36:560:37:00

Government is going further and

faster than anyone else. We are

0:37:000:37:04

going further and faster than our

European colleagues. To ensure that

0:37:040:37:07

we are giving gig workers, workers

in vulnerable working conditions,

0:37:070:37:14

agency workers greater protections

than ever before. We are not just

0:37:140:37:18

talking about it, we are protecting

those workers.

12.

0:37:180:37:24

I was congratulating myself too

much. Carthago delenda

0:37:280:37:33

the Government and British business

banks supports £4 billion worth of

0:37:370:37:43

finance to over 60,000 UK SMEs. We

are looking to establish a new £2.5

0:37:430:37:55

billion investment fund with the

British business back. The small

0:37:550:38:01

commissioner in addition else with

payment issues, dispute resolution

0:38:010:38:05

and sourcing advice across the UK.

For the Industrial Strategy we are

0:38:050:38:08

continuing to invest in 38 growth

hops across England alongside a

0:38:080:38:13

business support helpline. -- he

will no one of the crucial thing is

0:38:130:38:23

for successful small business in a

sector is access and understanding

0:38:230:38:26

the finances.

There is considerable

evidence that there is a gap at the

0:38:260:38:31

moment in the market for small

business to access finance. What is

0:38:310:38:38

he doing to address the knowledge

gap?

We are concerned at reports

0:38:380:38:44

that this is particularly small

business are reticent in coming

0:38:440:38:48

forward and accessing finance that

can help to invigorate and grow the

0:38:480:38:52

business. That is by the British

Business Bank publishes the business

0:38:520:38:55

finance guide produced in

partnership with the ICEAW. It is

0:38:550:39:04

published online. Also. Watching a

new digital platform in the spring

0:39:040:39:10

of this year to raise awareness

further.

Small businesses in

0:39:100:39:16

Cumbria, particularly farming and

tourism, were integral to the Lake

0:39:160:39:20

District gaining World Heritage Site

status last summer, which could see

0:39:200:39:24

a massive increase in visitors

coming to what is already the second

0:39:240:39:29

biggest British destination. Well

the Government back the businesses

0:39:290:39:34

with the infrastructure they need to

grow searches electrification?

I am

0:39:340:39:42

delighted to commit to support the

small businesses that he talks

0:39:420:39:47

about. He will be pleased to note

that we are boosting infrastructure

0:39:470:39:52

including digital with over £1

billion of public investment

0:39:520:39:57

including 176 million four five G

and 2,000,004 -- for full fibre

0:39:570:40:07

network also. I would like to talk

about the businesses in Lakeside

0:40:070:40:13

further and discuss more about what

we can do.

In small towns in my

0:40:130:40:21

constituency there is a thriving

retail sector. But things are

0:40:210:40:24

getting harder for them. Will the

Minister reinsure me that the

0:40:240:40:30

Government is doing everything it

can to support independent retailers

0:40:300:40:34

in thriving market bounce? --

reassure me.

I recognise the very

0:40:340:40:41

real challenges are high street

faces particularly independent

0:40:410:40:44

businesses. As the Spring Budget the

Chancellor announced a package of

0:40:440:40:52

measures for business rate relief

which included £1000 discount for

0:40:520:40:56

public Houses with values below

£100,000, 300 million for local

0:40:560:41:05

authorities to find discretionary

rate relief and a cap on rate relief

0:41:050:41:09

-- increases. Any small business

using rate relief will not see

0:41:090:41:13

increases.

The Minister should stop

being quite so complacent. Carillion

0:41:130:41:22

was a Secretary of the payment

code... Carillion suppliers were

0:41:220:41:27

paid on terms of 120 days.

Subcontractors say they are being

0:41:270:41:34

hammered by late payments. Yesterday

the Federation of small business

0:41:340:41:37

again highlighted the damage done to

growth by late payment. When our

0:41:370:41:41

ministers going to support smaller

firms in the public sector supply

0:41:410:41:45

chain and enforce the prompt payment

code?

We are certainly not

0:41:450:41:51

complacent. That is why we set up

the trade body group, in order to

0:41:510:41:57

assess the impact of Carillion. The

honourable gentleman will be

0:41:570:42:01

delighted to know that yesterday I

spoke to fill King who runs the

0:42:010:42:06

prompt payment code, I am meeting

him later on this week to see how we

0:42:060:42:11

can tighten up the code and give it

a real teeth. We are determined to

0:42:110:42:15

help small businesses.

0:42:150:42:16

We are firmly committed to local

partnerships, as announced in the

0:42:220:42:27

industrial strategy we are reviewing

the rules so they are able to play

0:42:270:42:32

an important role in driving growth

across the country, as we prepare to

0:42:320:42:37

leave the EU.

Does the Minister

agree with me it is shameful that

0:42:370:42:46

growth deal won money is being used

to sell off public sector land for

0:42:460:42:52

luxury apartment developments?

£50

million of growth deal round one has

0:42:520:43:00

been invested in Stevenage. It has

helped leveraging commitment of 350

0:43:000:43:05

million private investment into the

town. He raises an issue of concern

0:43:050:43:09

and I would urge him to speak to the

Secretary of State for housing,

0:43:090:43:16

communities and will and to resolve

this issue.

Come to Yorkshire and

0:43:160:43:21

talk to our local enterprise

partnerships and explain why the

0:43:210:43:31

Midlands, the North and the regions

will be in better disappointed

0:43:310:43:37

territory after Brexit.

He is

talking manufacturing down. It is

0:43:370:43:40

doing incredibly well in the North

of England. He will also be aware

0:43:400:43:47

that we are determined to deliver

across the country with our

0:43:470:43:50

industrial strategy.

I know the

honourable lady has a keen interest

0:43:500:43:57

in the subject and we have met to

discuss the impact on many of her

0:43:570:44:01

constituents. Our assessments

detailed in the report at the end of

0:44:010:44:13

last year was published in a nuclear

safeguard report in December. My

0:44:130:44:18

door is always open to her to

discuss this matter further.

We know

0:44:180:44:23

the government is seeking a closer

relationship with Eurotam. But

0:44:230:44:32

Oxford need clarity now to plan for

the future. Can the government

0:44:320:44:38

categorically say they are seeking

an associate agreement and can the

0:44:380:44:42

guarantee they will kick-start that

agreement before the 1st of July?

We

0:44:420:44:48

are seeking the closest possible

relationship with Europe and we are

0:44:480:44:53

working hard to achieve that

objective.

At a recent meeting which

0:44:530:45:00

I cheered, the attitude of the

government to expand its

0:45:000:45:06

collaboration in nuclear activity

was well evident.

I thank my

0:45:060:45:09

honourable friend for that question.

He has a keen constituency interests

0:45:090:45:14

and I'm cream to represent the

interests of his constituents.

0:45:140:45:21

Order.

Topical questions, Mark

Menzies. Toyota announced it would

0:45:210:45:26

build its new model in Derbyshire.

Most of the engines would come from

0:45:260:45:29

the Deeside factory in North Wales.

We published a response to the

0:45:290:45:34

Taylor review of modern practices. 1

million vulnerable users would be

0:45:340:45:42

safeguarded with a tariff tap.

Domestic gas and electricity bill

0:45:420:45:48

was passed into Parliament.

Yesterday, we announced a research

0:45:480:45:53

programme into technologies to serve

the ageing population and make sure

0:45:530:45:56

that we can benefit from this

encouraging global trend.

I would

0:45:560:46:00

like to ask the Secretary of State

what engagement he is having with a

0:46:000:46:04

Canadian company called Brookfield,

likely buyer of a manufacturer of

0:46:040:46:13

nuclear fuel in my constituency and

provides over 1200 well-paid jobs?

0:46:130:46:19

He is a champion for the sector. The

Member for Watford has met with a

0:46:190:46:25

vice president of Brookfield and

expressed our continuing support for

0:46:250:46:30

Springfield to have a future in

providing fuel for plans was in this

0:46:300:46:35

country and overseas.

GKN was forged

in our country's first industrial

0:46:350:46:46

revolution and built the tanks used

in the D-Day landings. The

0:46:460:46:49

innovative battery technology will

power our future. The industrial

0:46:490:46:56

strategy identifies batteries as a

key priority, yet the Secretary of

0:46:560:47:03

State has nothing to do about the

hostile takeover of this great firm.

0:47:030:47:07

Will he and to this question, why is

it that with arm and Unilever, all

0:47:070:47:13

too often the Secretary of State's

industrial strategy seems to leave

0:47:130:47:19

great British success story is less

great or less British?

The

0:47:190:47:23

honourable lady I would've thought

would have informed herself as to

0:47:230:47:27

the responsibility of ministers

under the enterprise act. The

0:47:270:47:33

enterprise act 2000 to pass under

the Labour government requires that

0:47:330:47:39

ministers can only intervene in

mergers that raise public interest

0:47:390:47:42

concerns on the grounds of national

security, financial stability and

0:47:420:47:47

media plurality. That she should

know that the government's forms of

0:47:470:47:51

corporate governments have made sure

that GKN had longer to prepare their

0:47:510:47:57

defence, preventing the kind of

smash and grab raid under the

0:47:570:48:03

previous government. Provision has

been made for a legally binding

0:48:030:48:12

undertakings which are intended to

be used and I would be surprised and

0:48:120:48:17

disappointed if any bidder did not

make their intentions clear and

0:48:170:48:21

legally binding.

Can he assure me

that protected status for Cornish

0:48:210:48:26

produce like the Cornish pasty will

not be compromised post Brexit?

It

0:48:260:48:35

is said that I am no stranger to a

fish supper, or a Cornish pasty. All

0:48:350:48:41

of those products will achieve UK

geographical indications, will

0:48:410:48:49

continue to be protected in the UK

after EU exit. As negotiations are

0:48:490:48:53

ongoing, I cannot right now give her

a cast iron assurance that UK

0:48:530:48:58

products will remain protected in

the EU a exit, but I can

0:48:580:49:02

categorically state that this is the

government's clear objective.

The BT

0:49:020:49:13

Sport call centre has been brought

to my attention. They are paying the

0:49:130:49:16

minimum wage to agency workers

beyond 12 weeks using a Swedish

0:49:160:49:20

derogation. The Taylor report talked

about getting rid of the Swedish

0:49:200:49:25

derogation. When the government

going to act to protect some of our

0:49:250:49:29

lowest paid workers?

We are acting

right now. Is a consultation under

0:49:290:49:34

way right now that discusses exactly

that. That discusses the Swedish

0:49:340:49:40

derogation. Businesses should be

under no doubt. This government

0:49:400:49:43

expect everyone to be paid the

National minimum wage or the

0:49:430:49:47

national living wage, that's why we

have doubled the amount of

0:49:470:49:50

enforcement, that's why we have

protected the pay of 98,000 workers

0:49:500:49:56

and why we are absolutely committed

that everybody gets paid the

0:49:560:49:59

national minimum wage.

Retention of

payment in the construction industry

0:49:590:50:09

is affecting many small firms across

the UK. When will the government

0:50:090:50:12

deal with this issue?

The government

is determined to improve payment

0:50:120:50:18

plans. We understand the tensions

cause problems in the supply chain.

0:50:180:50:22

We consulted on cat protection and

are considering responses to assess

0:50:220:50:27

the extent of the issues and what

further intervention is required.

0:50:270:50:33

Does he agree with me that the

overwhelming evidence shows that

0:50:330:50:36

migrant workers including EU

nationals make a hugely positive

0:50:360:50:40

contribution to business, the

economy, public finances and did not

0:50:400:50:44

undermine wages?

I think we all

recognise that whether it is in

0:50:440:50:49

business or in the public services,

the contribution made by workers

0:50:490:50:53

from the EU is extremely positive

and I endorse that.

According to

0:50:530:51:01

tidal energy industry leaders, sell

pot is considered one of the best

0:51:010:51:07

locations in the UK for a tidal

lagoon. Would he meet with me to

0:51:070:51:13

discuss bringing tidal energy to

Southport?

I will be delighted to

0:51:130:51:19

meet with him. I should point out

that the particular lagoon project

0:51:190:51:25

in his constituency is currently not

part of the proposal being put

0:51:250:51:28

forward by the company promoting

other...

Last year, the government

0:51:280:51:37

raised business rates on rooftop

solar schemes by up to 800%. Now it

0:51:370:51:44

appears that on-site battery storage

is likely to go the same way. Given

0:51:440:51:49

that gas, heating and power has been

exempt from business rates,

0:51:490:51:53

shouldn't the government do the same

first-order and battery storage?

In

0:51:530:51:59

the last two years, our solar

capacity has increased by more than

0:51:590:52:02

30 years so clearly we are bringing

forward the schemes and he would

0:52:020:52:05

know we are looking closely at ways

to reduce some of the disincentives

0:52:050:52:10

about on-site storage. I'm happy to

meet with him to discuss this

0:52:100:52:14

further.

Does the Minister I agree

with me that the South West is a

0:52:140:52:19

great region? I met with the

business commerce to promote North

0:52:190:52:31

Devon as the region's economic

powerhouse.

The south-west is a

0:52:310:52:35

great region for doing business.

Chambers of commerce, including

0:52:350:52:40

Barnstable which has served the

community since 1911, have a

0:52:400:52:44

valuable role to play in supporting

local businesses and making sure

0:52:440:52:48

their voices heard. That's why it

Chambers of Commons 11 week -- 11

0:52:480:52:53

times in the seven weeks I have been

in this role.

Why despite being the

0:52:530:52:57

most popular and one of the cheapest

sources of clean energy is solar

0:52:570:53:01

power excluded from clean Power

options from the last three years?

0:53:010:53:05

And wide as it continued to be

excluded when the industry is

0:53:050:53:11

clearly at a disadvantage?

We're

looking at ways to bring forward all

0:53:110:53:16

forms of renewable energy and were

now up to 30% of energy generation

0:53:160:53:20

in this country from renewables. We

haven't yet taking decisions about

0:53:200:53:25

future contracts, but we intend to

do so.

The banking scandals that RBS

0:53:250:53:31

destroyed thousands of businesses.

The owners of those businesses have

0:53:310:53:34

no means of justice or recompense.

With the Minister support the

0:53:340:53:38

all-party group for fear business

banking's proposal for a wee dress

0:53:380:53:43

to an independent system of tribunal

is?

Let me pay tribute to the work

0:53:430:53:51

of the APPG for fear business

banking of which my honourable

0:53:510:53:53

friend is the joint chair. I met

with them last week to explore the

0:53:530:53:59

options he discusses. I share the

aim that small businesses should

0:53:590:54:03

have an accessible and impartial

forum for which to seek redress when

0:54:030:54:06

things go wrong. There is work to be

done about payments and legislation,

0:54:060:54:13

but I look forward to working with

him.

The 220 people at work at GKN

0:54:130:54:19

Aerospace in my constituency bridges

windshields for military aircraft as

0:54:190:54:24

well as commercial ones. Isn't this

a further indication that the

0:54:240:54:31

hostile takeover bid raises national

security implications and will the

0:54:310:54:34

Secretary of State intervene under

the enterprise act?

I have to make

0:54:340:54:41

sure that I don't prejudice any

assessment. At I set out the

0:54:410:54:47

constraints to his honourable

friend.

A review published in last

0:54:470:54:53

October said manufacturing sectors

in my constituency could be

0:54:530:55:03

transformed under the industrial

strategy.

I met with the Chief

0:55:030:55:10

Executive of Siemens UK to discuss

this. At a recent dinner, my right

0:55:100:55:16

honourable friend the Secretary of

State asked Sir Mark Walport to work

0:55:160:55:21

on the investment in digitisation of

our industrial strategy.

What work

0:55:210:55:33

is being done to ensure that the

charging points are more frequently

0:55:330:55:38

powered by renewable foresees?

He

makes an excellent point. Part of

0:55:380:55:44

our industrial strategy is to bring

together the energy sector and the

0:55:440:55:48

automotive sector, someone

reinforces the other. That is the

0:55:480:55:52

Faraday challenge which is

attracting so much attention in both

0:55:520:55:55

industries.

Can my right honourable

friend reassure the House of the

0:55:550:56:03

efforts he is making to secure

exemption for UK produce steel and

0:56:030:56:08

aluminium products from the

imposition of tariffs from the

0:56:080:56:13

United States?

I can assure the

right honourable friend that I was

0:56:130:56:20

in Brussels last week meeting trade

union leaders and representatives of

0:56:200:56:24

employers to make sure we do exactly

what he says.

The bases select

0:56:240:56:30

committee of heard powerful evidence

of why the government should call in

0:56:300:56:33

the Melrose bid for GKN on national

security grounds and the Secretary

0:56:330:56:38

of State for defence has written to

the Business Secretary. So will the

0:56:380:56:43

Secretary of State use those powers

before it is too late to protect

0:56:430:56:46

this great British engineering

giant?

0:56:460:56:54

I will look carefully and seriously

consider that evidence.

The door is

0:56:540:57:01

still open to the benefits of marine

energy so would he commit to see

0:57:010:57:05

Charles Hendry, author of the review

which are still awaiting a response

0:57:050:57:11

from the Government 14 months and,

as Chair of the party groups and

0:57:110:57:16

representatives of tidal lagoon and

tidal stream?

We continue to commit

0:57:160:57:25

to support our marine energy

industry. I referred the honourable

0:57:250:57:27

gentleman to the answer my right

honourable friend gave at the start

0:57:270:57:33

of questions, we continue to

exchange information with the Welsh

0:57:330:57:36

Government, we need to understand

what is on offer and need to reach

0:57:360:57:40

the right decision.

The county in

which I live have only two

0:57:400:57:51

electronic charging points. If the

Minister able to set charging points

0:57:510:57:55

for rural and urban areas?

It is

true that the charging network needs

0:57:550:58:00

to extend right across the country

if people are to have the confidence

0:58:000:58:03

that they will be able to recharge

their vehicle and the rural aspect

0:58:030:58:07

is very much in mind.

According to

the press, the Secretary of State

0:58:070:58:14

gave a presentation to the

subcommittee of the Cabinet about

0:58:140:58:18

the automotive Section and how

important it was that we do not have

0:58:180:58:24

a hard Brexit. It seems to have

persuaded those people of the

0:58:240:58:27

Cabinet that it might be a good idea

for a hard Brexit that it would in

0:58:270:58:32

fact be a very bad idea for British

business, notably the automotive

0:58:320:58:36

sector. On that basis, could the

Secretary of State make it available

0:58:360:58:40

to all members, honourable and right

honourable?

It would be wrong of me

0:58:400:58:49

to disclose what's our conversations

are in Cabinet. She understands the

0:58:490:58:57

collective responsibility but it is

no secret to anyone in this House

0:58:570:59:00

that I regard the success of the

automotive sector depending on

0:59:000:59:03

integrated supply chains as being

good evidence of what type of trade

0:59:030:59:09

agreement is needed. It was

referenced, indeed highlighted, in

0:59:090:59:13

the

0:59:130:59:16