Supply Chains

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Conservative, Waveney

What recent steps he has taken to support businesses and their supply chains.

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government support businesses throughout the UK by encouraging innovation, investing in infrastructure and skills and, more importantly, building long-term partnerships with businesses as part of our modern industrial strategy. We have demonstrated our support for the importance of our supply chain through the automotive, aerospace and nuclear sector deals.

Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Conservative, Waveney

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Fabrication yards in UK ports have supply chains that extend throughout the UK, but there is real concern for their future. Can the Minister confirm that the oil and gas and the offshore wind sector deals will make provision for realising the full potential of those yards and their supply chains?

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I certainly can, and I welcome the deal proposals that have been put forward by both the offshore wind and the offshore oil and gas sectors.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

It is almost a year since Carillion collapsed, leaving losses to small business supply chains of more than £2 billion. My constituent, Neil Skinner, was among those affected. Will the Minister and the Government support my ten-minute rule Bill, which is coming to the House next week and would introduce project bank accounts for all public sector contracts in order to prevent such losses to small businesses?

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I am sure that the hon. Lady will be delighted to know that we are working closely with the sector. I have some experience of project bank accounts in the construction sector and I have seen them work. We will look very carefully at this.

Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons)

Precisely what support is being given to the steel industry and its supply chain?

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The hon. Gentleman and I frequently speak about the steel industry, and I meet regularly with the trade body, UK Steel, and all the different companies to monitor the future carefully. The industry is important to us, and I am still hopeful that we can work on a sector deal, so I am interested to hear proposals from the various companies.