Skip to main content

Select Committees: Ministerial Attendance

Volume 617: debated on Thursday 1 December 2016

8. What his policy is on giving evidence to Select Committees other than the Committee on Exiting the European Union. (907598)

We take parliamentary scrutiny of the Department’s work extremely seriously, and I am delighted to be appearing before the new Select Committee on Exiting the European Union on 14 December. Department for Exiting the European Union Ministers and officials have made 10 appearances before Select Committees since the Department was established and before our own Select Committee was formed. But it is right that we do not overstep our remit and that Ministers across Whitehall—this is a cross-Whitehall operation—are accountable to their own Committees, including in relation to European Union exit.

To curb the Secretary of State’s manic optimism, would it not be beneficial for him to get a dose of reality from the Welsh Affairs Committee, which went to Aberystwyth this weekend? Somebody came to me and said, “My company has decided after the referendum not to expand here in Ceredigion but to relocate in Dublin.” Is it not right that the Minister should come, not to tell us what he is doing but so that we can pass on to him the fact that industry is collapsing post-referendum?

The hon. Gentleman should perhaps make his point about industry collapsing to Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Nissan, GSK, Jaguar Land Rover and the rest. To come to his substantive point, we consider every request from Select Committees on its individual merits. There are probably something of the order of 30 ongoing projects at the moment. Frankly, if we appeared in front of every Select Committee on all those, we would not have any time to do any negotiation or planning at all.