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Industrial Strategy

Part of Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 18th April 2018.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 3:40 pm, 18th April 2018

I would incur your displeasure, Madam Deputy Speaker, if I went into the European negotiations. Suffice it to say that if the hon. Gentleman reads the Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech, he will see a reference to chemicals. We take the advice of the Chemical Industries Association, which I meet regularly, into those negotiations so that we can continue to trade successfully in that very important sector.

I want to say a word about sector deals. As the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South East mentioned, we know of the success of long-standing arrangements whereby major manufacturers, supply chains and the Government can work together—for example, in the automotive sector and the aerospace sector. These important institutions have taken a lead and boosted jobs and prosperity. In the industrial strategy consultation, therefore, we asked whether we should offer and engage in more sector deals with sectors that have not benefited from those arrangements. We asked business whether that proposal had merit, and the answer was an emphatic yes. These deals are about the Government working with sectors, but also about the sectors working with each other, in exactly the way that the right hon. Gentleman mentioned.

We have made significant progress. In December, I launched the life sciences sector deal with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This deal for the long term is already attracting immediate investment, including from MSD, which is supporting nearly 1,000 jobs in the UK.