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Industrial Strategy

Volume 657: debated on Wednesday 3 April 2019

7. What discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Welsh Government on the effect of the industrial strategy on the Welsh economy. (910117)

I have been working closely with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy and with the Welsh Government to ensure that Wales benefits from the opportunities that our modern industrial strategy provides.

The recent BEIS Committee report on the industrial strategy was particularly damning about how the steel sector has been failed by the Government. If Ruth Jones is elected tomorrow, she will be strong voice for the industry in Newport West, but what is the Secretary of State doing to push the sector deal negotiations and demand action on energy costs?

I do not recognise the hon. Lady’s point, but she is a strong supporter of the steel industry in her constituency, across Wales and elsewhere. The steel industry faced a challenging crisis just three years ago, and it is now in a much more positive position as a result of Government interventions such as reducing energy costs for energy-intensive industries.

I thank the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for meeting a delegation that I brought here a few months ago, but we now need action. Rehau is shedding jobs in my constituency, and this is an opportunity for the Department to put its money where its mouth is with the industrial strategy and help that company. Will the Secretary of State meet me to follow up on the meeting that the former Under-Secretary of State had with the company so that we can keep jobs and production in Amwlch in my constituency?

I am happy to respond positively to the hon. Gentleman, who is a champion for Anglesey. Since our meeting about Wylfa Newydd, I met the chairman of Hitachi to press the importance of the case and to stress the support that comes from the local authority, the Assembly Member and the Member of Parliament, which demonstrates the co-ordinated approach.