Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day] — Trade, Exports, Innovation and Productivity

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:01 pm on 13th January 2016.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Economy), Deputy Leader, Scottish National Party 1:01 pm, 13th January 2016

It certainly should in the sense that the sector is important not simply for Aberdeen or for Scotland, but for a supply chain throughout the UK. Indeed, Sir Alan Duncan set out, in his question at Prime Minister’s questions, the potential damage should the sector continue to suffer. This Government—indeed, all Governments, but particularly these Ministers, because many of them are believers—should do several things: continue to protect people who want to enter the sector by making sure they are properly trained; continue to support the supply chain in the North sea basin; and, to internationalise, look again at supporting the industry as it cuts its own costs and of course at the overall fiscal framework, which is a substantial cost. Essentially, as my right hon. Friend Alex Salmond said, the Government should look again at all the credits available, whether for exploration or production and whether for geographic areas or specific oil types, to maximise absolutely the longevity, employment and contribution to the economy of a sector that, as he rightly reminds the Government, has raked in more than £300 billion since oil started coming ashore.