We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
I will meet her any time, any place, anywhere, but Amber Rudd was a Minister in the previous Government. The present Prime Minister was Prime Minister in the previous Government. As a result of discussions that my predecessor had with them, we went out to our industry and said that the date is 2017, with a grace period to 2018. When the Conservative Government came into power, they moved the goalposts in Northern Ireland, and everything that I have done subsequent to that and to DECC's change of position is to try to drive forward a position that can ensure that the Northern Ireland consumer — the business customer — gets best value at minimum cost.
People in my constituency borrowed money against their own homes to go for renewables on the basis of what DECC had allowed Northern Ireland to do in the terms of its consultation. I am acutely aware of their needs, and, when the record of this period is written, they will see that, when Amber Rudd changed her position, I tried to put legislation specific to Northern Ireland through the House. The Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee turned down legislation that I was seeking to introduce for farmers and small-scale users. When Amber Rudd changed her position again, I tried to nuance the position, and the Committee again turned down proposals for small-scale users and farmers. I am in discussion with Amber Rudd, in writing and through my officials, to see what we can do for those people, but I can only do what is realistic and introduce legislation that the Committee allows to go to the Floor.