Monday 18th September 2023

(10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, shall we allow the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, to contribute and then the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones?

Viscount Camrose Portrait Viscount Camrose (Con)
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I apologise to the noble Lord for not having reached that bit. The concern about Newport Wafer Fab was that the ultimate owners of the buyer were Chinese investors; hence, under the NSI Act, that was blocked. I cannot comment any further on that specific case because it is under judicial review.

Lord Clement-Jones Portrait Lord Clement-Jones (LD)
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My Lords, the Government may have finally published a strategy on semiconductors, but is investment in our great south Wales compound semiconductor hub going to be encouraged by his ministerial colleague Paul Scully’s remarks about not wanting to recreate Taiwan in south Wales? Also, as has been referred to, there is the very much delayed decision over the future of Newport Wafer Fab.

Viscount Camrose Portrait Viscount Camrose (Con)
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What Minister Scully clearly meant was that there is no point attempting to construct an advanced silicon manufactory at the cost of tens of billions of pounds at considerable risk to both investors and the taxpayer when all those who have tried to mimic TSMC have failed at great expense. It is far better to focus on our strengths and on the compound semiconductor strategy that Minister Scully will have spoken about on that occasion. Again, Newport Wafer Fab is under judicial review and I cannot comment further.