Onshore Wind Generating Stations in England and Wales

Part of Energy Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 9th May 2016.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 7:30 pm, 9th May 2016

I will speak briefly given that we have been here before in this ping- pong process.

This was my first Bill Committee and Reasons Committee—I believe I am already coming up for my second, which is interesting—and we are now down to one key point: there is wide acceptance of the broader need for the Bill, but we are told that if it is so important, we need only accept one more wafer-thin amendment and then it can go through. Conservative Members take the view that a Government could not govern if they did that every time. There are, unfortunately, cut-off points in lots of Bills, and many are unpopular, and although I can understand why people who will lose out are aggrieved, we take the view that the wider principles are incredibly important.

Others have spoken about the Oil and Gas Authority. Every time I have spoken, I have referred to the oil price, which I think is now up to about $49. There is still no sign of stability returning to the sector. Who knows where it will be in weeks if not days, given all that is happening in the world? The measures in relation to the OGA are not a magic wand for the oil sector but will bring an extra level of stability and demonstrate Government support at an incredibly sensitive and important time for what remains one of the UK’s largest industries and one of Scotland’s key industries. We should dispense with this process, move forward and pass the Bill, for the simple reason that it is about the fundamental strength of the UK economy.