Constitutional Law

Part of Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts – in the House of Commons at 2:31 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth) 2:31 pm, 10th April 2019

I think we have seen an outbreak of consensus, which is always welcome on the Floor of the House. I welcome the comments of Mr Sweeney, and commend him on his tartan tie: I feel that I am a little underdressed for this debate.

Martin Whitfield, who is no longer in the Chamber, asked me to confirm that the Act applies to the geography of the site and not to the business location. I can confirm that to the House.

I was delighted when my hon. Friend Stephen Kerr raised our eyes beyond this narrow definition of the law to the real prize, asking what we could do to facilitate our ongoing leadership in the decarbonisation agenda. The answer is much more. I was also delighted by his support for the offshore wind sector deal, which is utterly transformational. We have the best location in the world for offshore wind generation in terms of wind speed and the shallowness of the marine basin. As he knows, there is an important opportunity for the transfer of skills from the world-leading oil and gas industry to offshore wind generation as part of the transition.

There is, of course, a series of questions to be asked about onshore wind. One concerns the size of wind farms. I have debated that subject many times with Opposition Members, but I should point out that the Scottish Government’s own analysis shows that more than 2GW of wind is already at the planning stage. Not all of that will come to fruition, but we are engaged in an enormous process of re-powering and upgrading existing onshore wind farms.

My hon. Friend the Member for Stirling also mentioned—and this is absolutely my experience as well—that the day-to-day working relationships with the Ministers in the devolved Administration are excellent. I chair a quadrilateral meeting which we hold regularly to discuss Brexit preparations, and our conversations are professional and focus on working together. There is a great deal of trust. Like Alan Brown, I would far rather see harmonisation than dissent in such conversations. It is always dispiriting that we almost never hear his party welcome any of the progress that the UK Government are making. [Interruption.] I am afraid that his speech was delivered in such a welter of negativity that I may not have picked it up.