As chairman of the all-party group on Islamic finance and diversity in financial markets, my hon. Friend is well known for his close interest in Islamic finance. The Government believe that sovereign sukuk issuance would not offer value for money at the present time, but the situation remains under review.
I thank the Minister for that reply. A sovereign sukuk issued by the Government might lead to two benefits: first, providing funding for the Government’s borrowing requirement, and secondly, giving readier access to liquidity for the growing number of Islamic banks that operate in this country. Will he agree to meet a small group from the all-party group on Islamic finance and diversity in financial markets to discuss this matter in more detail?
My hon. Friend makes an important point. We recognise the benefits that a sovereign sukuk could bring to improving liquidity in the sector, but significant costs would arise from sovereign sukuk issuance. However, I am sure that my noble Friend Lord Sassoon, who leads on this matter, will happily meet him and his colleagues.