The Government have already made a clear commitment that the bank will be able to borrow from April 2015, subject to public sector net debt falling as a percentage of GDP, and the borrowing could take several forms, including from the capital markets. I reiterate that commitment today. Nothing in the Bill prevents that from taking place.
As the Bill stands, the bank is allowed to invest only in activities it considers likely to contribute to the achievement of one or more of the green purposes in the UK. Government amendments 1 and 3 would allow the bank to invest in activities it considers likely to contribute to one or more of the green purposes, whether in the UK or elsewhere. The point about global supply chains has already been made powerfully. The amendments will provide important flexibility in the bank’s future activities. We believe that, for the foreseeable future, the bank’s activities should continue to be in the UK, and the Government and the Secretary of State, as shareholders in the bank, will be able to ensure that that is the case.