Business Questions BBC Parliament on BBC Two

Business Questions

Greg Clark, minister for business, energy and industrial strategy, takes questions from members of the House of Commons, from 13 September.

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Questions to the Secretary of State for business,


With your permission, I'll answer this together


Since I was appointed on the 14th of July, my colleagues and I


have met with businesses, investors, workers and local leaders in all


four home nations, as well as travelling to India and Japan.


Furthermore for the first time, each local enterprise area and each


the devolved administrations will have a specific minister


assigned to them in my department.


I thank the Secretary of State from his answer


and also welcome the whole team to the new department as well.


The aerospace industry is absolutely vital to the west of England


Not just for jobs, but also for growth as well.


Will be Secretary of State work with me


order to ensure that the entire aerospace industry receives the


Mr Speaker, I certainly will do that.


One of the biggest privileges of this job is to be reunited with


aerospace, and I got to know the sector when I


My first ministerial meeting, visit, was with breakfast with the


aerospace growth partnership at the Farnborough airshow, where I ran


The West of England was well represented


This is a very important sector for the economy, and will


I too would like to pass on my welcome to the new


I've had a number of correspondence from a few local


businesses, Rochester and Stroud, predominantly small,


partners over a long period of time but has recently seen supply chain


Could he outline his commitment to supporting our small


businesses in our new relationship with Europe, to ensure that local


and regional economies continue to grow?


What I will say, I know many small businesses in


Through the British Business Bank we have made over ?3 billion


available to smaller businesses.


She will know that from April next year, the small business


That will benefit 60,000 small businesses.


This is part of our continuing commitment to small


business, which is the motor of the bigger


businesses that generate so


many jobs together with small businesses in our economy.


My home constituency, long established,


beautiful seaside destination with big future ambitions including


for 2017, a new hot air balloon Festival.


I'm delighted to welcome the Eastbourne


Can the Minister tell me if he has had


discussions with the tourism industry around reducing the level


of VAT on tourism services to bring us into line with competitive


destinations in the European Union and give our industry the


competitive platform from which it can stimulate investment, create


jobs, deliver growth and take full advantages


of the opportunities in


My honourable friend is a big campaign in the


We have one of the highest VAT thresholds in the


European Union here in the UK so that many small businesses don't


Of course, I will continue my discussions with


The hot air balloon Festival sounds a very tempting excursion,


perhaps for many members in this house.


And I look forward to continuing these discussions of her


Does the Secretary of State agree that


British business people are fat and spend too much time on the golf


Mr Speaker, I am yet to meet a lady businessperson,


starting with my own father, who was up before dawn every


morning running his own small business.


reminding us that across the whole country, every business needs to


work hard as it does every day of the week, that is the secret


That is the way we will continue to prosper as a


In light of comments made last week by the Japanese


ambassador, the Secretary of State will be aware


that Nissan, based in


my constituency, contributes ?2.1 billion to the UK balance of trade.


And it exports 80% of all cars made at the plant in Sunderland.


What opportunities to PC for automotive


companies such as Nissan in a post-Brexit strategy and will he


commit to meeting Nissan as soon as possible?


I will not only make that commitment but tell her


that I have already done so and have met the Japanese ambassador.


The automotive sector and Nissan in particular


is a hugely important and


valued part, not only of the Honourable


Lady's constituency, but


I think it's very encouraging that the Japanese


ambassador on behalf of the government shares with us their


That is exactly the sort of relationship


that I hope and expect to have our partners around the world.


Will people be aware of the great anger


felt by Britain's wealth creators at the comments of his right


What conversations, not just to them, but to our reputation


abroad, what conversations has he had specifically with his right


honourable friend and with the Prime Minister


about limiting the damage?


My right honourable friend has been vigorous during the summer


in going around the world, promoting the case


for British business, as is


And members will have the support of everyone in this House if


they join the effort that we are making to promote the great


opportunities already in this country, and the further


Speaker, Secretary of State, can I ask you if


you agree that free trade is at the heart


And will you and your front bench colleagues be resisting any attempts


to impose any form of protectionism when we come to negotiating future


I'm not expressing any view, but I think I


know what the Honourable gentleman had in mind.


I think free trade courses through the veins of this


It is one of the reasons that we've been most successful.


I was surprised last week to hear a commitment to free trade described


I think it is one of our strengths, and he has an absolute


assurance that this will be very much at the four of our reputation


Can I welcome the Business Secretary to


Australia says it's going to take at least three years


after Brexit before a trade deal can be in place of the UK,


States, Japan and China have already expressed their views about the


prospects of foreign investment and trade with the UK.


Can he tell us what he is doing to get behind UK


businesses and deal with the concerns of our international


And can I say to him, that he could not do better


get behind business and stop insulting them.


I would be interested in the support of the


party opposite for promoting British business around the world, and he


will know from our previous work on local growers,


he'll always have a willing ear and assistance from me


Can I welcome the front bench team opposite that has been


I have to say, the Honourable gentleman who was my


shadow in my DC LG role has followed me here.


Perhaps not so much shadow as a stalker, but I regarded as


I think it is important. Relationships are important.


I think it's important you get to know our partners around the world.


I have done that and my colleagues have done that.


I visited our investors and manufacturers in Japan


and India, and I will continue to do so.


Cambridge is a net contributor to the Treasury.


20,000 businesses generating revenue of over ?30


We have had cross-party meetings with business leaders about


the implications of Brexit for our local colony.


What the Minister meet in my constituency to discuss these


It is one of the important features of


our industrial strategy is to have a clear recognition of the


contribution of the local leadership different places bring.


I have appointed the minister of state as the lead liaison


with Cambridge, but I would be very happy to visit myself in future.


I welcome the Secretary of State and his team


There are challenges, one of which is the


trade deficit increasing to ?2.3 billion.


A problem unlikely to be resolved by the withdrawal


from the single market.


Scotland voted to remain, Scotland wishes to remain


it wants unhindered access to the market,


or does he remain committed to the English Brexit.


Many members of the House were impressed by the Honourable member


's contribution to last weeks debate.


I will work very hard to


make sure our negotiating mandate reflects all parts of the United


It was a United Kingdom decision to come out of the European


Union, we will make the most of it together.


The Scottish Government analysis in terms of


European Union is that it could cost the Scottish economy at best ?1.7


billion a year, and at worst ?11.2 billion.


I made clear in my answer continued membership of the European


earlier that free trade is


In further discussions, not only with the devolved administrations


but with business investors around the world, we will make sure the


negotiating mandate we have is ambitious and will ensure the


brightest future for the whole United Kingdom.


With your permission, Mr Speaker, I will answer this question with


I said on the 28th of July the Government will consider


all the component parts of the Hinkley Point C proposed project


We will do just that, and the Prime Minister


said this week, a decision will be research next month.


On my recent summer surgery tour, a number of constituents raised


concerns about the cost to the taxpayer of the Hinkley Point C


Barclays estimated that even if EDF that delivers four years


late, and 25% over budget, it would still make a profit


on the deal, with the deficit being picked up


over the next 35 years by ordinary people.


Does the Minister think such a public subsidy provides value


for the taxpayer?


As I said in my answer, we are looking at all components of the


deal and will make a decision before the end of the month.


I do think it is a responsible act on the part of


the Government to consider our energy supplies for the future in


I know the Scottish Government has turned its face


We regard that as an important part of a diverse


energy mix that gives resilience to UK consumers.


Given that the Brexit vote has thrown the energy sector further


uncertainty, and given that we know that energy from renewable sources


Hinkley is completed, is it


not time for the UK to follow the Scottish


Government's example and


embrace cheaper, safer and more plans for alternatives to nuclear?


Winston Churchill said that in energy,


diversity and the rest is


I think those are wise words and we are wise


to have a range of energy sources, now and in the future.


I strongly support the Prime Minister's decision on this, given


that China insists on trying to hack not


only state agencies as well as


our commercial companies, putting two fingers up to the arbitration


Court in the Hague, these are people through with which we should sup


with a long spoon, and I commend the paper written


by the intelligence committee under Sir Malcolm Rifkind


made is to look at all components of the proposed deal and to make our


We will report to the House when we have


done that and reports on a decision at that point.


The Government is very wise to take a deep breath before committing


itself to the massive cost of Hinkley.


Evidence is mounting all


In particular, fusion rather than vision,


I do commend the Government for considering this decision very


I am grateful to my right honourable friend.


I think it is important for such an important decision to make


sure a new Government looks at all the components.


Looking to the future for energy supply, I think it


is important and we benefit from the full range of technologies,


including some of the ones he mentioned.


This came in on question one, I haven't forgotten it, even if he


There is a company based in my constituency that is the preferred


supplier for reinforced steel to build Hinkley Point C.


Would the Secretary of State please update the House


The honourable lady is right that we,


across all different forms of


energy generation, need to upgrade our capacity


Doing that will have important advantages for other companies,


including steel suppliers, right across the United Kingdom.


In terms of a decision on Hinkley, we will


Can my right honourable friend confirm that,


proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C,


The decision is on the particular contract difference at Hinkley Point


C, that is what we are reviewing and we will take that decision


I'd like to welcome the front bench to their new positions,


along with my stalker friend.


After putting 25,000 highly skilled jobs at risk, after


jeopardising 500 much-needed stem apprenticeships,


after offending the


Chinese Government and risking billions


the UK economy, after sending shock waves to the investment community


who think the PM now doesn't understand the meaning


investment possession, does the Secretary of State agree


with those in the industry who think that the


Prime Minister's courses approach now looks like dithering?


I prefer the Prime Minister's cautious approach to the approach of


the honourable gentleman, which is completely


inconsistent, as far as I


He criticises the Government for reviewing this


important decision, but says at the same time we should take


three months to seriously review the


There is a contradiction in his position.


But it doesn't surprise me, because it is the


complete absence of an energy policy during the 13 years of the previous


Labour governments, that we knew nuclear power stations


were going to come to the end of their life,


this Government is making decisions in a proper,


the lost time under the Labour years.


I am delighted the Prime Minister has asked me to leap the historic


task of leading a proper industrial strategy for this country.


We have a once in a generation chance to


embrace the new opportunities of our global role and upgrade our economy


We will work with industry, local leaders,


innovators, employees and consumers to create conditions for future


May I also take the opportunity to congratulate the entire front bench


The words industrial strategy often conjure up


images of manufacturing and heavy industry.


Can the Secretary of State confirm that...


The service industry will be covered with comprehensive strategies?


It seems to me that in projecting forward how


we are going to earn a


living as a nation, we look to our strengths.


It is correct that the


service sector is one of our greatest assets.


We must create the conditions for that prosper in the


Then I also welcome the secretary of state


ambitious, interesting and challenging brief.


I wish him and his team all the best.


Can the secretary of state state precisely exactly how


this new industrial strategy marks a change


in Government approach to


collaborate with business and intervention in the economy, or is


it just a name change to the old approach?


I would welcome the involvement of the new


Select Committee, which I think will be


important, and making sure we


capture everything we need to make a success of this.


I don't think it is brand-new in that we build on


We talked with the Honourable gentleman's colleague on


We know that has been a strong source


The environment we created with firms in the sector,


capacities and scientific institutions has been crucial to


We will build on the strong foundations and expressed very


As the Government formulates its industrial strategy, and urge my


right honourable friend to look at the small business American


I'm grateful to my honourable friend who is very well informed


to translate research success into small business success.


I'm sure we can talk further about it.


I welcome the new team, but I'm sure even the secretary


this isn't going to be a full English Brexit, it's going to be a


Thank you much, I'm going to be here all week.


On a industrial strategy, one of the problems we face


is that many parts of the


Areas have one industry like tourism, iron


Will he make sure that we take this opportunity to invest in those areas


to increase productivity in those forgotten areas?


The right honourable gentleman is good at the


one-liners, and the creative industries are a great source of


I would say, if you look around the world at some


particular, they have developed in a way that they have resilience


industry. where the was the single, dominant


That is precisely why we want to work with local leaders


sure we strengthen the resilience of our regional centres.


I welcome the Minister for consumer affairs,


As part of my strategy, I hope my right honourable friend will


recognise the importance of science and innovation.


In my constituency, we are a microcosm in the future of


Britain, linking science with high tech, and I hope that it


will feature strongly in his strategy.


The strength of science, not least in Oxfordshire,


It will absolutely be in the heart of


Secretary of State, how will he ensure that future


industrial strategy is mindful of Northern Ireland's particular


reliance on EU support and access to the common market?


As I said earlier, we will make sure that we


work with our colleagues across the United Kingdom.


I had a productive meeting with Simon Hamilton during


the summer to make sure that we coordinate our efforts


with those of policymakers in Northern Ireland.


It needs to be joined up, it will be,


and we will make sure that our negotiating mandate


reflects contributions from across the UK.


Mr Speaker, I join others in welcoming


The country is very badly unbalanced at the moment,


we will support any realistic thoroughgoing industrial strategy


We know how the strategy's gone over the summer.


Sports Direct paying less than minimum wage.


Meanwhile, the companies are being called fat and lazy.


There is still no clear and unambiguous progress on


It has been over two years since the consultation


When will he make clear that the pensions of tens


of thousands of loyal, hard-working steelworkers


When it comes to the steel industry, it is


very important industry in our country.


I grew up in Teesside, where it was particularly prominent.


I've had some very productive discussions during the summer,


including visiting South Wales, to make sure that the government can


give the right support to a sustainable future for the steel


They have been very constructive discussions and I'm


very happy to make sure that he is aware of them.


Solar deployment has been a real UK success story, with almost 11


Of course, it is appropriate to allow now for a period of stability


following the changes made to protect consumer bills.


The Secretary of State continues to keep


the performance of the scheme under review.


The PricewaterhouseCoopers report in July showed almost 60% of


companies are looking to diversify away from


solar, and nearly four in


ten considering leaving the solar market entirely as a result of your


What steps will the Minister take to avoid business


confidence in this important sector dropping further?


There is remarkably little sign that


confidence is dropping in the sector.


There is recognition that


those changes had to be made, and the sector has responded


remarkably resiliently to the changes made.


Let us not forget that they have also been spreading expertise in


I welcome the team to their new roles.


Kingspan, a significant employer in my constituency


contacted me regarding concerns about the re-evaluations of business


The result is a six to eight fold increase in


Would my friend agreed to meet with representatives from the


company to see how these effects can be mitigated?


I know the company well, it has substantial operation in


Of course, it is right to acknowledge that valuations


in this area are made by the independent evaluation office.


The department liaising with the


industry and the office on this issue, but I certainly would be


delighted to meet with the company and him to discuss it.


Has the Minister done any analysis of the


relationship of payback periods for commercial and rooftop solar,


particularly school solar, in relation to that proposed hike in


Does he intend to change tariffs if the valuation comes into


I simply repeat that the matter is under review.


We haven't seen what the agency proposes, and


we will look at it closely when we see what they have done.


The Minister talks about stability, by


which he is referring to a 93% drop in solar installations this year.


After a 64% cut in subsidy to solar, an eight fold hike in the proposed


business rates, it would appear that the next attack on solar


Can the Minister confirm whether it is by


incompetence or by calculation that changes to charges put forward by


the regulator to end the unfair advantage to highly polluting diesel


generators, will in fact negatively impact on small-scale renewables


I think it is widely understood, Mr Speaker, that the


sector needed some changes to the feed in tariffs,


because the effect of them was to hit consumers very


Let's not forget that 99% of all solar panels


installed have been installed over the last six years.


With permission, Mr Speaker, I will answer six with


This government supports innovation, soon to be part of UK


It has invested over ?1.8 billion in innovation since 2007.


Innovators connecting businesses to local


growth through its regional managers.


There is also support through ?200 million of local growth


As Chairman of the Space Committee, the space industry has


outgrown the economy by 10% or through the austerity years.


The space industry is worried about the


issues caused by Brexit even though it is outside


the European Union.


Which he give us your reassurance that the industry will


We recognise the value of space to our economy


and are working closely with industry to understand their


Also working closely across government to understand the


impact of the referendum and all the opportunities associated


with it, and will continue to do this as we


shape our future relationship with European Union.


The success of our agricultural industry is dependent on the latest


innovations in agricultural science and technology driven forward by


world leading research centres like the one


What assurances can the Minister give


that agri- food research will continue to play an important role


in the government's overall strategy for supporting innovation


and ultimately delivering food security?


This government is investing ?160 million in agri- tech, including


incentives for agricultural innovation to ensure that our world


leading science is improving productivity and farms.


In addition, a UK wide food innovation


network which is to be launched very shortly,


will give businesses greater access to technology and


Will the Minister ensure that the devolved legislatures right


across the United Kingdom, the relevant ministers there, are


brought together to ensure the best practice in innovation right across


the United Kingdom is not just replicated


but brought forward in


each of the relevant sections across the UK?


Mr Speaker, we are working closely with the devolved


administrations as we put through the creation of UK research and


Excellent science and innovation will be supported through


this new body, and we look forward to continuing


science and innovation wherever it is found in the United Kingdom.


Innovation is key to our regional economies,


helping to create high skilled, well-paid jobs.


Innovation needs investment and research and


development, and small businesses to make a success of new ideas.


European funding has helped grow our regional


innovation infrastructure, the Northeast alone receives ?130


million in research funding from now until 2020.


While 72% of EU funding to UK businesses goes to small and


Will the minister commit to matching the


funding for innovation which currently comes from the European


Mr Speaker, we have been monitoring the impact, or any


impact, on our research institutions and businesses since the referendum.


The announcement on August the 13th by HM Treasury that it will


underwrite for the life of the project or competitively bid


funding that is applied for before departure.


That shows our determination to take action were ever necessary.


Consumer product safety is a government priority.


We have an effective system of product recall and have


established a steering group to


consider recommendations in


We will engage with the London Fire Brigade


on their campaign as part of


You'll be aware of the fire in Shepherd's Bush tower block last


month caused by a defective tumble drier.


The woman could do nothing to


stop the fire destroying her home and 25 others.


Does the Minister agree that such drivers can continue


to be used if not unattended is irresponsible and dangerous, and


I was shocked to hear about the serious fire in the


Honourable member's constituency and understand


his concerns about the


The advice being provided by the Whirlpool is


based on a full risk assessment of the products that has been agreed


with Peterborough City Council trading standards, who are the lead


enforcement of authority for Whirpool.


Trading standards will continue to monitor the situation


and do have powers to order further action if they consider


it appropriate.


Two tumble dryer fires each day in this country,


almost 2500 since the start of 2012.


Will the Minister ensure there are fireproof


labels on all tumble dryers with make, model, serial number,


so that when fires do occur they can be


I thank my honourable friend for his question.


Although there have been the serious fires, they do actually


represents less than 0.2% of the total numbers


So we have to keep these things in perspective.


The Linfolds Woods review that provides an overview of the current


And the independent recall review group,


comprised of industry safety experts and the chief fire officers


Association, will complete the work on these recommendations.


As a department, where absolutely committed to ensuring


only safe products are placed on the market,


Given the risks associated with misuse of


these pens, we are reviewing what more we can do to protect


Last year, there was over 1300 incidents where certain laser


pens were used to target aircraft and infrastructure.


Will he support the bill to regulate the sale of


these pens, supported by the British airline


Can I congratulate my friend for his persistence and passion


this very important issue, because there are significant


I assure him that the government is taking very seriously


and there is a cross Whitehall group looking urgently now at our options,


including the case for further legislation.


I am happy in that context to meet him.


Would the Minister help the leading manufacturer of laser pens in my


constituency, was a great supporter of the northern Powerhouse, and will


be attending Thursday's big conference in Yorkshire.


On innovation and creativity in Yorkshire.


What he wants to know is


why Lord O'Neill was suddenly pulled as a speaker,


no substitute offered, and we hear that the government will


not have anything to do with elected mayors or northern powerhouse.


Can we talk about laser pens, rather than the


I refute any suggestion we have lost commitment to the northern


powerhouse. He is a well-known exponent of the shoehorning


technique. Whatever he wants to raise, he shoehorns in to a


question, somehow. Let me take this


opportunity to refute absolutely any suggestion


that the government has lost any commitment to the northern


powerhouse in terms I welcome the question


from a colleague I have enjoyed watching at work,


his incisive questioning of a He is now directing


that questioning to me, The department has


received a copy of the PwC great success story


over the past years. The goal now is to try


and move the industry towards the


capacity to deliver without subsidy. I thank the Minister for his


generous comments, and also for chairing my Select Committee,


I wish him well in the new role. PwC suggests a third


of solar jobs have been lost in the last year,


and many more companies expect to lose


staff in the next 12 months. It has been suggested


that rate changes Will the Government


taken in to account these measures and do something


positive for the industry? I share the concerns


about job losses as a result of changes


in the I made some points about the way


the industry has changed, and your report picked out


the resilience of the industry and its capacity to respond


to change, It's noticeable that


of many schemes are already viable without subsidy


in certain circumstances. The key now is to move


further towards that. We will look very closely


towards the issues raised on valuation


highlighted today. With your permission,


I will answer this question The Government has made it clear


we are open for business and


determined to make EU, including seizing


the opportunity to negotiate our


own trade agreements. I believe leaving the EU offers


great opportunity for British My constituency has


a business which works It is very complex


and has a registration He is concerned his


business will be hampered. Will my honourable friend be


vigilant of issues like this, to


make sure that we are able We want to make sure


the new relationship with the EU works for British businesses,


and his constituents raises


an important issue. We need to have clarity


I'm sure we can arrange a meeting to discuss it.


Does the Minister welcome the figures that predict our exports


will go up after the referendum results?


And will he confirm businesses who he has spoken to that


are positive about our potential future?


I voted remain and believe that we should


talk up our prospects are


The chairman I have spoken to have expressed some


desire for more certainty but we are fundamentally optimistic


There is a British jurisdiction that is entirely accessed by road, air


and by sea through another European Union member


state, and that is the


British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.


They are absolutely of the opinion they need to retain


access to the single European market.


What discussions has he had with Gibraltarian counterparts


to ensure that happens?


We are engaged with a series of discussions with stakeholders and


Will the Minister or his team meet with the leader of the official


opposition in Northern Ireland, where we have an excellent document


on the vision of the future of Northern Ireland after Brexit?


The short answer is yes, we are very keen to


ideas on how we meet this fundamental and exciting challenge


of how we transition to a post-Brexit world that works for


The Department of business energy and industrial strategy was formed


on the 14th of July, and it is my privilege to serve


We are creating a new focus on industrial strategy.


This is a powerful department, out of the task of promoting


a competitor, low carbon economy.


And an economy that works for everyone.


As part of an excellent team of ministers and officials, I will


continue to work both locally and globally


The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, along the Cardiff Bay,


new port and Bridgwater Bay has the potential to create huge


Second largest rise and fall in the world's tides.


When are we going to get a result, we need


long-term funding for a project which will reach 8% of our energy?


My understanding is that the feasibility study is being


I haven't received its final conclusions yet.


At that point, I will look with the same


The European Commission says that Apple should


taxes for revenues created across the EU, including the UK.


Most businesses pay their fair share of


taxes and expects all other businesses, large or small, to do


Can the Secretary of State confirm he is doing everything he


can to make sure the very biggest companies pay up, and also that we


receive our share of the ?13 billion Apple tax pie?


The responsibilities that come with being in business in this


country and paying taxes that contribute to


public services that we enjoy as part of that.


He does have my assurance that we will make


sure that we pursue the


correct tax by all companies that locate here.


On Thursday I'll be chairing a panel at the enterprise innovation and


In developing an industrial strategy,


does the Minister agree with me that we need


to do to win more hearts and minds in the North.


More examples of regional procurement and more


jobs in the North, particularly with HS2 perhaps


The passion with which my honourable friend


opportunities that are in our industrial strategy to make sure


that growth is across the United Kingdom,


He will know I have taken great interest in this and my previous


roles, he can be assured that interest will not be diminishing.


The current review of network charging for small embedded


generators will mean huge increases in the costs of these small


Is the department just determined to make energy generation


What we have to do is strike a balance between looking to drive


down the costs of all sources of low carbon generation,


the best value for consumers and taxpayers.


That includes reviews of


Can the Minister ensure that breaks and financial services, and tourism


sectors, as we approach European negotiations?


I can assure the honourable member that we plan to put at the heart of


industrial strategy science and innovation,


financial services as


part of the services sector will also play an important


Last week, the Government committed to ratifying the Paris climate


Will it commit to doing so for the next conference


in Morocco so the Government can play a full role in that summit?


We helped shape the Paris agreement, we said


we will ratify as soon as


Britain is undoubtedly a world leader in scientific research.


Will my right honourable friend detail


what role science will pay to the the Government's


It will position the UK as a leader for the 21st-century.


The UK bio economy is worth billions, 36%...


The potential is there to grow, and will continue


The Secretary of State is a thoughtful man who, I believe, is


Will he assured me I'm right in this understanding by cancelling his


predecessor's decision to centralise department functions in London.


Thereby maintaining and building upon its presence in Sheffield?


I would say that I am certainly very attached to the work done in


Sheffield, and the valued colleagues we have up there.


The decision has made some time ago, and many changes


As we sort out the responsibilities of different parts


of the departments, I'll look carefully at what Sheffield can


What can be done to make sure community energy schemes are viable?


As explained previously, the Government


is very committed to the


deployment of renewable energy, and has had


The expansion of Heathrow would create demand for 370,000 tonnes of


So it is not only in the interest of the UK economy generally that we


expand Heathrow, but specifically in the interest of the manufacturing


So why don't we just get on with it, have the vote


chamber, and get on with building the third runway?


Across many different forms of infrastructure,


we do need an upgrade in the infrastructure we have.


That'll have many important benefit to the steel


It's hugely encouraging the Government is developing this


industrial strategy, which I believe for great boost


and confidence to our steel industry.


Can the Minister update a House what discussions he has had


I have had extensive discussions with these steel industry.


It is important we should have a is a


stable future for what is an important factor in our economy.


A huge shipping company has gone into receivership,


The inability to dock has impacted on UK retail,


critically juddering Christmas trading...


What action is he taking to assist traders and our seafarers?


In terms of immediate impact, the Local


Enterprise Partnership are engaged with making sure the delays are


Many will commend the Minister for putting science at the centre


a strategy, but I wonder if as he plans for the future


sciences industry if he will work with the Minister of health, because


the health service will be critical to the growth of that industry?


I was interested to read my honourable friend's article earlier


In some point in the Government takes a


collective approach on this, I've already


Health Secretary on how we can make the most of the NHS


Will the Government look again at the unjust 50% Government


claw back from the mine workerss' pension service?


I will certainly take that away and I'm happy to meet with the


honourable leader issued like to inform you more about this outside


Does the Department intend to develop a single industrial


for the whole country, or have different strategies different parts


My honourable friend makes a good point.


It seems to me essential that of course we should


have a strategy for the whole country, but place is incredibly


The challenges of the places like greater Manchester are


We should reflect the different strengths and opportunities more


clearly in how we do business as a government.


Does the Minister accept that changes to subsidy for the CHP


biomass plans have been brought in to quickly and longer grace


period before an implementation should have


In my constituency, a company doing what the government


want by investing in renewable technology but stand to lose 3


Will he meet with me to discuss these changes?


All kindness and charity to the honourable gentleman that he was at


his best at the end of the first sentence.


A blue pencil should therefore after have been applied.


As a former treasurer of the SNP, he knows a bit


about the challenges as


He knows in the context of these changes, are


overriding aim is to provide better value for the tax payer.


They will apply to new participants with they


Those who fully qualified on or after the


1st of August will be subject to the change.


If it is a specific issue you wish to raise with me I'll


Brexit provides the UK with an opportunity


to be the global leader in energy technology.


Offshore wind, energy storage and carbon capture.


Can the Minister confirm that the government


will reset energy policy so that the country can


take full advantage of


My honourable friend is absolutely right.


One of the historic strengths of the United Kingdom is in areas


such as marine engineering and power engineering,


which is at the heart of the opportunities around the


world as many countries look to develop their capacity in renewable


This is a big opportunity, especially for his constituency.


Can the Secretary of State guarantee that all employment protection


currently enjoyed by British workers will be


maintained post Brexit and


does he back my bill to do just that?


We will certainly look carefully at the Honourable Lady's


Employment protections are an absolute priority for this


The financial viability of many low-carbon on-site heat and


power technologies is under threat due to the reduction in the tarrif.


Would his department consider having a separate tariff rate for the new


technologies rather than being treated the same as other


The government is reviewing how the renewable heat incentive


works and is being forced to make some changes


to tariffs in order to


provide better value for the tax payer.


I'm more than happy to sit down and talk with him about his


Welcome Secretary of State to his place as I do my


A new report from a professor of Aberdeen University has


found the re-engineering of the fiscal regime may be necessary


before we reach the North Sea's potential.


What further support will


the government bring forward for the oil and gas sector


Very productive set of discussions in Aberdeen during the


summer with representatives of the oil and gas sector.


The industry centred in Aberdeen but involving


other places in the country is very important.


We have made big changes for the fiscal regime but we'll


He earlier described himself as being on a historic task


writing industrial strategy.


If he studies strategy, it is written primarily by


civil servants and ministers tend to fail.


engage businesses in Lancashire to make sure we have a successful


I'm grateful for my honourable friend's point.


It is the case that an industrial strategy for


the country should not be instructions from ministers or civil


servants to businesses and the rest of the country.


We are engaging with businesses all across the country


and in every different sector to make sure


Does the Secretary of State believe it is conceivable this


country can negotiate full membership of the single market


without accepting free movement?


Mr Speaker, the Honourable gentleman entices me


into making early decisions on what our negotiating


I think it is the sensible step to be


careful and to put together our negotiating


brief and to do that in


consultation with businesses and every part of the country.


Speaker, I welcome the government's and


genuine commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.


Will the secretary of state meet with me and other leaders


I'm always keen to meet the Honourable gentleman,


despite the fact that I've moved from one department to another.


I hope the invitation to fish and chips still stands!


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Greg Clark, minister for business, energy and industrial strategy, takes questions from members of the House of Commons, from 13 September.

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