Stephen Metcalfe: What recent steps his Department has taken to support the development of electric and autonomous vehicles.
Stephen Metcalfe: When it comes to autonomous and electric vehicles, public trust in the exciting technology involved is key to making the most of the opportunities that it presents. What discussions has my right hon. Friend had with industry to combat the Luddites and dispel the mythical fears of that exciting technology that are currently being promoted?
Stephen Metcalfe: As my right hon. Friend will be aware, 2018 is the year of the engineer, with one of the aims being to change the perception of engineering, particularly among young women. Will she meet me, in my role as the Government’s envoy for this campaign, to discuss how her Department can work with the Department for Transport to further these aims?
Stephen Metcalfe: What steps he is taking to prevent the use of mobile telephones in prisons.
Stephen Metcalfe: Does my hon. Friend agree that we must be constantly alert to the potential for new technology to deter, detect and disrupt the illicit use of mobile phones in prisons? Does he therefore welcome the potential offered by the private Member’s Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Maria Caulfield), which received its Second Reading last week and which will help to block...
Stephen Metcalfe: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the effect of public investment in skills on the number of young people taking up apprenticeships since 2010.
Stephen Metcalfe: My right hon. Friend is right to put safety at the heart of his speech. Even with autonomous vehicles there will, unfortunately, still be the occasional accident, but one advantage is that if the circumstances of such accidents are known, they will be shared across the entire network. We will not all have to learn individually from our mistakes; we will be able to learn collectively, and that...
Stephen Metcalfe: Will my right hon. Friend give way?
Stephen Metcalfe: While the Minister is talking about the Government’s commitment to this area, will he remind the House about the £246 million they are investing in battery research through the Faraday challenge? That is a serious investment towards solving some of the challenges, and should reassure people that we are serious about this matter.
Stephen Metcalfe: If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Stephen Metcalfe: Growing the supply of engineers is one way in which the Government can support both the armed forces and the defence industry. Will my right hon. Friend tell the House what action his Department is taking to support next year’s Year of Engineering to ensure that we inspire the next generation of engineers?
Stephen Metcalfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to encourage innovation in the defence industry.
Stephen Metcalfe: In the same vein, I recently met Basildon community transport, which expressed grave concerns and is already pointing at a neighbouring community transport operator closing because of the uncertainty. Will my hon. Friend agree to meet me, Basildon community transport and the Community Transport Association to clarify the situation?
Stephen Metcalfe: Not surprisingly, the calling of this debate has stimulated considerable interest in my constituency, from constituents, the local councils, the police and the media. As we heard from my right hon. Friend the Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Francois), this is a hot topic in south Essex. Indeed, in the run-up to the general election, I wrote to the Prime Minister’s policy adviser,...
Stephen Metcalfe: Will my right hon. Friend, for the benefit of the House, confirm the cost to the economy of cancelling student debt, say whether that is affordable and explain what effect it would have on the work we have done to reduce the deficit?
Stephen Metcalfe: To ask the Attorney General, whether the Government plans to extend the scope of the unduly lenient sentence scheme.
Stephen Metcalfe: On Monday, I chaired a seminar at the Royal Society looking at the priorities for the science community as we start our Brexit negotiations, and a report of the meeting will be launched here in Parliament on 21 March. While I of course understand that the Prime Minister may be too busy to attend, will she meet me once the report is published so that I can present to her in person the...
Stephen Metcalfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to fill the vacancy of Chief Scientific Adviser to his Department; and what the timetable is for advertising and filling that vacancy.
Stephen Metcalfe: Welcome to the Chair, Mr Flello. I thank the Minister for his words and for some of his assurances. Forgive me if I failed to recognise the scale of the challenge. I do not; I get that it is a huge undertaking. However, he will agree that the role of the Science and Technology Committee is to provide challenge where possible. We all recognise that there are huge potential benefits to be found...
Stephen Metcalfe: I beg to move, That this House has considered the Sixth Report of the Science and Technology Committee, Evidence Check: Smart metering of electricity and gas, HC 161, and the Government response, HC 846. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Turner. It is good to see some fellow Committee members here for what I am sure will be an interesting debate for us, and hopefully for...