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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 13th January 2016.

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Photo of George Kerevan George Kerevan Scottish National Party, East Lothian 3:44 pm, 13th January 2016

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am always willing to bow to the Chair. If ever I am found to have made erroneous remarks in this Chamber, I will always withdraw them. We can come back to that.

The Minister intervened because she wishes to continue to say that those of us who raise serious points about our poor economic performance are talking down British industry. Far from it. I am passionate about British industry. I want industry to grow. It is the fact that the Government are not doing their job that is the problem. I have a profound respect for Rolls-Royce, its history and what it has contributed to this country. During world war two, Rolls-Royce’s main aero engineering factory was in Glasgow. The engines that powered the Spitfires that saved western Europe and democracy in 1940 were produced in Glasgow by Rolls-Royce. I am second to none in my admiration for the company and its engineering history, but I am worried that we are now talking about it being taken over by American aerospace companies because of the situation it is in. I am now worried that the Government may have to consider taking over parts of Rolls-Royce—this has been a matter of press comment in recent weeks—in particular its nuclear engineering division. If anything went wrong and, God forbid, Rolls-Royce were taken over by a foreign company, the Government would be talking about nationalising bits of the company. That is quite a serious pass to have come to.