Coal Industry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:35 pm on 26th June 1989.

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Photo of Mr Cecil Parkinson Mr Cecil Parkinson , Hertsmere 7:35 pm, 26th June 1989

The hon. Gentleman is trying to get me to issue some form of instruction to the negotiators. The two sides are in negotiation, seeking to arrive at an agreement. The generators do not want to be over-dependent on a single United Kingdom supplier—they have been bitten by that bug four times in the past 20 years. They also know that there is an enormous advantage in having a secure, reliable, home-based supplier, and that being over-dependent, or dependent to any major extent, on imports can be dangerous. They do not need the hon. Gentleman to remind them of that. I trust both sides to negotiate sensibly and to come to a sensible arrangement.

All sorts of figures have been bandied about in the past. The only ones that matter are those which emerge from the final negotiations which are about to get under way—