On my summer business tour, I met lots of exporters in Redditch having terrible trouble getting their goods into Europe. Can my hon. Friend assure me and Redditch businesses that his Department is doing everything possible to ensure that my businesses prosper in the future?
The channel link is certainly vital to the whole UK economy, and particularly to the haulage industry. I was recently at Folkestone and saw some of the problems at first hand. In particular, there were issues with regard to just-in-time delivery of parts for the motor industry, steel rails produced in Scunthorpe that are exported to the continent, and lobsters produced in my constituency that travel in trucks across to customers in France and Spain.
The key to preventing any recurrence of the problems we have had this summer is sorting out the issues in France. I am pleased to say that the MyFerryLink industrial dispute has been resolved, so we do not have that additional problem. The Government put in place a contingency plan at Manston, which would have relieved the problem further. It is certainly important to look at how to improve the situation when, for whatever reason, we have disruption on the channel.