We have made it clear that we remain open to considering any well developed and privately funded proposals that come forward for harnessing the tidal range resource in the Severn estuary. The right hon. Gentleman’s tenacity on this and a great number of other subjects will of course be greatly missed when he leaves this place. I look forward to meeting him next week to talk further about the Severn barrage project.
I am grateful to the Secretary of State. Is he aware that the company now taking forward the Severn barrage—exclusively for any form of renewable energy—requires no consumer subsidy through a contract for difference? That could be a game changer for the Government.
With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, may I thank my Welsh Labour colleagues for their comradeship, especially during my two years as a Welsh Minister and seven years as Secretary of State for Wales? We can be proud that we established a Welsh Assembly, and it has been a privilege to serve.
I thank the former Secretary of State for his question. As I said, I look forward to talking to him in more detail about the project, and to understanding how the proposal might have changed since he and his associates last presented the ideas to various Committees. Let me add that I am proud to be part of a Government who believe in major infrastructure investment, and who are delivering strategic infrastructure investment in Wales the likes of which we have never seen before.
As a lifelong advocate of the Severn barrage, I think that we must now reluctantly admit that the time for the barrage has gone and that there is a better alternative in the form of lagoons at Newport, Cardiff and Swansea. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree?
The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. He is aware of my enthusiasm for the lagoons project. That is why the Wales Office worked hard to secure the inclusion of the lagoon proposal for Swansea bay in the national infrastructure plan. There is a planning process in place and we need to respect that, but I am proud to be part of a Government who are working constructively and positively with the developers to take the project forward.