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Industrial Strategy

Volume 632: debated on Wednesday 6 December 2017

5. What steps the Government plan to take to ensure that Scotland benefits from the new industrial strategy. (902719)

The industrial strategy is a comprehensive plan for boosting productivity to raise the earning power of people and businesses. We have been working constructively with the Scottish Government, who hold many of the policy levers that will help to make the industrial strategy a success in Scotland. We have proposed a review of inter-agency collaboration to maximise the coherence and impact of both Governments’ work in Scotland.

This UK-wide industrial strategy is extremely welcome in my constituency. Southampton airport connects Eastleigh to Edinburgh and Glasgow by two busy routes across the UK. Does the Secretary of State agree that regional airports and vital connectivity will increase prosperity in Scotland and England?

I was delighted to hear that Edinburgh airport has had its busiest year ever, so I agree absolutely with my hon. Friend and recognise that regional airports across the UK make a vital contribution to the economic health of the whole country. That is why we are developing a new aviation strategy that will consider how best to encourage and improve domestic connectivity, to the benefit of both Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.

First, may I associate myself and my Liberal Democrat colleagues with the Secretary of State’s comments about the late Jimmy Hood? Every inch of his not insubstantial frame was Labour, but he was always capable of moments of humour and kindness across the party divide, and I am sure that he will be fondly remembered in the House and beyond.

If the industrial strategy is to reach all parts of the United Kingdom, it should be an opportunity for Scotland to develop its potential for wave and tidal power. That will require a dedicated funding stream. What is the Secretary of State doing in collaboration with his colleagues in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure that we get that dedicated funding stream?

My colleagues in that Department are well aware of the issues that the right hon. Gentleman raises, which are important in ensuring the development of tidal energy in particular. We will continue to look at what funding can be made available for that.

Will the Secretary of State ensure that the Government support Scotland’s efforts to be at the forefront of the clean energy and technology industries, which are crucial to our future economic prosperity?

I absolutely will do that. My right hon. Friend will know that, at the recent conference of the parties event in Germany, there were considerable efforts on the part of the whole United Kingdom—the Scottish Government working with the UK Government —to deliver just that.

At the last Scottish questions, the Secretary of State said that he had shared analysis with the Scottish Government. This morning we discovered that there is no impact assessment, so what analysis was shared with the Scottish Government?

First, the material that has been provided to the Exiting the European Union Committee has also been provided to the devolved Administrations. The position was—and is—that officials from the UK and Scottish Governments are working together on the basis of analysis that they have both done.