Oral Answers to Questions

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
Tuesday 16th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to highlight the plight of independent businesses. That is why I was pleased to go to Northcote Road in Clapham to see what they were doing there and the community spirit that brings them together. We always look at the flexibility of support, but we will also make sure, with the safe opening of shops now, that the new normal is coupled with a future view of the high street—the new reality, with changing behaviour of consumers—so that in the years to come independent shopkeepers can sustain and indeed thrive as local businesses on the high street.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now go to marvellous Manchester, with Lucy Powell.

Lucy Powell Portrait Lucy Powell (Manchester Central) (Lab/Co-op) [V]
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May I, too, put on the record my remembrance of my good friend Jo Cox?

Pubs, cafés, hairdressers and restaurants are the lifeblood of our high streets. Business-critical guidance about their reopening in just two and a half weeks’ time was due yesterday but is nowhere to be seen. Instead, they got another review, making a bad situation much worse. When will they get that guidance? With either 1-metre or 2-metre distancing, most of those businesses still will not be viable, so will the Government finally recognise that vital business support schemes need to follow the public health measures before we see large-scale job losses and the decimation of our high streets?

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Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma
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Of course, my hon. Friend will know that we are providing direct support to the vaccines being developed at Oxford University and Imperial College London. He may also be aware that the Imperial vaccine is now set to enter clinical human trials. We are also leading international efforts to support vaccine discovery and deployment.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Darren Jones.

Darren Jones Portrait Darren Jones (Bristol North West) (Lab)
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UK-EU research collaboration contributes £2 billion to British research and development and accounts for at least 5,000 researchers in British universities, as well as its contributions to covid research and vaccination research. Will the Secretary of State make a commitment that, irrespective of the free trade agreement negotiations with the EU, the UK will seek third country full associate membership of Horizon Europe to keep that money coming into British R&D?

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David Mundell Portrait David Mundell (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale) (Con)
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May I begin by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire (Amy Callaghan) and her family at this time? Although a political opponent, she is, like Jo Cox was, a lovely person. Will the Minister, given the recent major policy change, ensure that contracts for difference—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. We are going to have to clear Members away from the entrance. There are some seats. You will have to sit down. You just cannot gather.

David Mundell Portrait David Mundell
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I will begin the question again, Mr Speaker. Will the Minister ensure that contracts for difference funding will only be made available to onshore wind farms in Scotland that have local community support?

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Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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I do not think that is a fair characterisation of the situation. We have huge offshore capacity; 35% of the global offshore wind capacity is in the UK, with much of it sited in Scotland. Scottish firms are extremely capable of competing in the auctions, and I do not think it is fair to characterise our position in the way that the hon. Gentleman has.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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In order to allow the safe exit of hon. Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I am now suspending the House for five minutes.