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Nuclear Power

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:42 pm on 22nd October 2002.

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Photo of Tim Yeo Tim Yeo Shadow Secretary of State (Trade and Industry) 8:42 pm, 22nd October 2002

No, I am about to finish, because I want other right hon. and hon. Members to be able to take part.

There are many other issues on which I hope we can touch on other occasions, including the need to work harder to promote energy efficiency and to avoid unnecessary delays in making grants available for the construction of offshore wind farms.

In conclusion, I hope that the Government's White Paper will not be subject to further delays. I hope that its explanation of Government energy policy will be clear enough to remove the uncertainties that plague the industry. Some matters, however, need not wait until the White Paper comes out next year. The problems facing British Energy, which have led to taxpayers' money being lent to the company, could be significantly reduced by an announcement this evening or in the very near future of a recognition by the Government that their policies have contributed to the company's difficulties. I regret that the Minister has not yet made such an announcement, and I think that the effect of his failure to do so and the continuing delay in deciding how to resolve the problem will be felt by energy consumers—that is, every man, woman and child in the country. The price of the Government's delay will be paid by the people of Britain, and for that reason the Opposition support neither the motion before the House nor the Government's amendment.