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Orders of the Day — Electricity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:36 pm on 13th December 1988.

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Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy) 9:36 pm, 13th December 1988

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland spent a great deal of time explaining that, but perhaps the hon. Member for Dunfermline, West (Mr. Douglas) was not in the Chamber at the time. [Interruption.] I understand that he was. There are some differences. Proportionally, Scotland has four times as much nuclear power as England and Wales, has a vastly greater amount of hydro-electricity and is a different market place. It is clear that we had to cater for some differences north of the border.

The hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes), who is sitting on the Opposition Front Bench, raised the question of safety. I can tell him categorically that the industry will be safe in private hands. All hon. Members accept that safety standards, especially in the nuclear industry, are excellent. They will remain precisely the same after privatisation and nuclear safety will continue to be policed after privatisation by the nuclear installations inspectorate. Some hon. Members have argued that in future the industry is to be too heavily regulated.