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I completely agree again.
Another issue that has been brought to my attention relates to sector deals. I understand that sectors are ready with proposals for such deals, but there is no clear structure or process in place for them to follow. For example, the rail industry has had a proposal for a sector deal ready since October, and the plan would deliver transformation across rail over the next 20 years, including new approaches that will cut the cost of digital signalling, addressing capacity issues and reliability. Perhaps the Minister will explain to the House what the delay is. How many proposals for sector deals has he received and how many have been agreed? Perhaps he will also commit to setting out in clear guidance, accessible to all businesses, how to go about pitching for a sector deal? Finally, will he update us on the implementation of the “Made Smarter” review? It was effectively ready to go, but I am sad to say that it received only a few cursory lines in the Government’s industrial strategy White Paper.
In short, Mr Deputy Speaker, as I am sure you have gleaned from my comments, the Government's industrial strategy, as drafted, is inadequate. While they now recognise the importance of an industrial strategy—well done—they are not prepared to use the full policy levers at their disposal to achieve it.