Green Investment Bank

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 11th January 2017.

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Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Labour, Bolsover 12:40 pm, 11th January 2017

When are the Government going to learn the lessons of the past when it comes to selling off public assets? I was here when Mrs Thatcher decided to sell off not only electricity but gas, and then, finally, water. She said we were going to be a British share-owning democracy: that was the phrase. If we look at the list now, we find that some of those companies are owned in Germany and some are owned in France—and Macquarie, in Australia, bought the Birmingham toll road in a flash under a Tory Government.

Today we are being given another lecture on how the Minister will preserve the identity of the Green Investment Bank. History tells us that that is not possible. The bank will go to those who are bidding for it, and they will not be just in Britain. We are in the process of leaving the EU, and the chances are that somebody in the EU will be buying up British assets—although maybe not this one. Why don’t you learn the lessons?