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Aerospace Sector

Volume 648: debated on Thursday 25 October 2018

19. What steps the Government are taking to support SMEs in the aerospace sector to prepare for the potential effect on that industry’s cash flow of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. (907278)

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. We firmly believe that it is in the interests of both the EU and the UK to strike a deal, but it is the job of a responsible Government to prepare for all scenarios. The UK aerospace industry is a high-growth, high-value sector driven by innovation. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working with the sector to ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations in the world for aerospace.

I thank the Minister for that answer. No deal would be extremely serious and damaging for aerospace both in the EU and the UK, so it is vital that we avoid that. In terms of cash flow, I ask him, even if there is a deal, to look very seriously at ensuring that cash flow is available for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises that are likely to be impacted even by small disruption to their business.

I thank my hon. Friend for his supplementary question. Although there are programmes already in place, including the Sharing in Growth performance improvement programme, I will happily take away the point that he has made and perhaps have a conversation with him about it later.