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Nadhim Zahawi: It is delightful to see you in your place, Mr Speaker; this is the first opportunity I have had to congratulate you. Small modular reactors have significant potential to reduce our carbon emissions, and help to achieve net zero by using advanced manufacturing techniques to unlock what is referred to as “fleet economics” and drive down costs in nuclear.
Nadhim Zahawi: The Rolls-Royce consortium has proposed a significant public-private joint innovation programme worth more than £500 million to design a first-of-its-kind SMR. The consortium expects a working model to be up and running in the early 2030s, that the SMR programme would create high-value export opportunities and, at its peak, 40,000 jobs, and that each SMR would be capable of producing enough...
Nadhim Zahawi: I am grateful for the hon. Member’s pertinent question. He is absolutely right; we do have discussions with the Ministry of Defence. The Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth and I are visiting Hinkley Point tomorrow, but the hon. Member raises an important issue that the nuclear constabulary is taking very seriously.
Nadhim Zahawi: The Government are committed to spreading prosperity to all parts of the United Kingdom. We are investing £565 million through the borderlands growth deal and the Edinburgh and south-east Scotland city region deal, demonstrating our commitment to supporting growth and prosperity in the Scottish borders.
Nadhim Zahawi: Scottish textiles are, as my hon. Friend rightly points out, an important part of the Scottish economy, our overall economy and our heritage. We will do everything we can to protect this micro-economy. The Government are working closely with the EU and the United States to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus-Boeing dispute, and the Secretary of State continues to raise this...
Nadhim Zahawi: Yes, she does.
Nadhim Zahawi: Since it launched in April 2016, Ceramic Valley enterprise zone has been a fantastic success: it has attracted private sector investment and has already secured 1,000 new jobs in Stoke. The Government are prioritising levelling up, as the Prime Minister continuously reminds us. We will want to reflect on those things, such as Ceramic Valley enterprise zone, that have worked and see how we can...
Nadhim Zahawi: The independent Oakervee review will advise the Government on High Speed 2, including potential business benefits and how it should proceed. The hon. Lady will understand that I would not want to prejudice those findings.
Nadhim Zahawi: The hon. Lady mentions the CBI. Both the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and the Mayor of Birmingham, Andy Street, who sits on the panel conducting the review, have said it is important that we kick the tyres on value for money, but it is also important to make such representations to ensure that the committee gets a full view of the business benefits of HS2.
Nadhim Zahawi: I do not think there is any danger of that, Mr Speaker. My hon. Friend raises an important point, which is why the Prime Minister has pledged to fund the Leeds to Manchester route and has accelerated those plans with a deal in the autumn of 2019, with billions of pounds going into Northern Powerhouse Rail, and has of course set up Transport for the North.
Nadhim Zahawi: The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point, although his colleague, the hon. Member for Manchester Central (Lucy Powell), was shaking her head, so there is clearly division on the benefits of HS2. That is why we have an independent review to tell us which way we should proceed.
Nadhim Zahawi: That is certainly a consideration for the review.
Nadhim Zahawi: I am pleased to say that Dartford has been shortlisted for the future high streets fund to renew its town centre. This will build on £4.3 million support already allocated from the South East local enterprise partnership growth fund.
Nadhim Zahawi: I fully appreciate the concerns of local businesses with regard to the uncertainty over Swanscombe peninsular. My Department works very closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. I will gladly raise this with the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Jake Berry), when I see him tomorrow.
Nadhim Zahawi: We have just announced up to £l billion of new funding to advance the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies. I am sure the House would want to know how that funding is being used. Part of it is being used by the supply chain for large-scale production of electric vehicles so that we scale up the production in the UK, and of course part of it will be used for vehicle...
Nadhim Zahawi: I am very pleased to hear that the London Electric Vehicle Company had record sales in September. I spoke to the CEO recently and was very impressed with their capability. I understand their sales have grown month on month since April. They have capacity to produce 20,000 vehicles a year and his message to this House when I spoke to him was, “Let’s get Brexit done.”
Nadhim Zahawi: The hon. Gentleman is right to raise this issue. Our grant scheme and the £400 million charging infrastructure investment fund will see thousands more electric vehicle charging points installed across the whole of the UK.
Nadhim Zahawi: My right hon. Friend raises an important point. Different touch points with consumers are important. For example, when people go for a replacement tax on their car, they should be immediately alerted to the fact that, instead of paying that tax, they could pay for a new electric vehicle.
Nadhim Zahawi: The hon. Lady just reeled off a list, so I will reel off my own list of good news, starting with the fact that Government announced £1 billion to increase the capacity for electric car development. On 10 October, Nissan launched the new Juke model after investing £100 million in Sunderland. On 26 September, Jaguar Land Rover announced its latest investment in the Gaydon facility, close to...
Nadhim Zahawi: I think the hon. Gentleman would know that we already have agreements in place so that planes can continue flying. If he votes for the deal today, we will be in a much better place to leave in an orderly way.