Ravenscraig

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:51 pm on 23rd January 1992.

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Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire 9:51 pm, 23rd January 1992

No, I will not give way. The hon. Gentleman would not give way more than once.

I turn to the constructive points that have been made from both sides of the House. My hon. Friends the Members for Dumfries and for Tayside, North, the hon. Member for Gordon and, of course, the constituency Members and others have rightly paid tribute to the Ravenscraig work force for their hard work, effort and endeavour. I, too, pay tribute to them, and I hope that when the furore has died down British Steel will lose no opportunity to pay the same tribute—[Interruption.] It is not a matter for laughter. It is crucial for the future of Lanarkshire that firms are encouraged to come into Lanarkshire and that the message that the work force are skilled and dedicated and that this closure was no fault of theirs gets across to the whole industrial community.

The hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) and other hon. Members talked about the future. I entirely accept that we must look at mechanisms that will follow up the success of the Lanarkshire working party. I am discussing that with Lanarkshire development agency. I accept the point made by the hon. Member for Hamilton that not just economic consultants and economists have expertise and that we must involve the whole community.

What have we had from the Opposition? We have had from the Scottish National party a policy that is unworkable and, from the Labour party, no policy at all. The Labour party gave not £1-worth of extra commitment to Lanarkshire tonight. I urge the House to support the Government's amendment.