Viscount Ridley: My Lords, in view of Sir John Bell’s recommendation that the Government should streamline the adoption of all new products into the NHS, is my noble friend aware that there is an explosion of new diagnostic tools using blood proteins and genetics, often led by British companies? These offer earlier and more accurate diagnoses, saving costs, yet these firms are finding that the NHS is very...
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hen harrier nests in the UK were located in areas where the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had primary control over access in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, and (3) 2017; how many of those nests failed to have any chicks fledge; and what were the known causes of those nest failures.
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish (1) the assessments, and (2) the correspondence, held by Public Health England regarding the toxicology of the smoking substitute snus, including any communication with government scientists.
Viscount Ridley: My Lords, it is a delight to follow the noble Lord, Lord Cashman, and, like him, to give a different perspective on these matters and address the position papers. In the interests of brevity, I will confine my remarks specifically to the Euratom and nuclear safeguards papers. A lot of people have made a lot of mischief over this issue, scaremongering about the reasons for leaving Euratom and...
Viscount Ridley: My Lords, further to the point that my noble friend the Minister has just made, can he confirm that African exporters to Britain face the high EU external tariff and that, after Brexit, there will an opportunity to review that and therefore to increase trade between the UK and Africa?
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the original version of the Frontier Economics paper Whole Power System Impacts.
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to address rising electricity prices, in the light of data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change showing that prices in the rest of the EU15 countries are not rising.
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will instruct National Grid to review the system security rules specifying wind turbine Fault Ride Through, in the light of the final report by the Australian Energy Market Operator on the September 2016 blackout in South Australia.
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to publish energy and climate policy price impact tables for the years 2015 and 2016, which were last released in the Annual Energy Statement 2014, covering various types of consumer, and in the low, central and high fossil fuel price scenarios.
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether increases in the global mean sea level are inconsistent with reasonably expected natural variability; and whether there is any evidence for such inconsistency that is not based on computer simulations of the climate.
Viscount Ridley: Can my noble friend explain why a laptop in the cabin is dangerous if a laptop in the hold is not?
Viscount Ridley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to encourage gene editing in agriculture and medicine.
Viscount Ridley: I thank my noble friend for that reply. Is he aware of widespread concern that, although we are pioneering and leading this essential work using CRISPR and TALEN to edit genes so as to help in both agriculture and medicine, we are falling behind in the race to apply this technology because the use of gene editing in cell therapy for cancer and in producing better crop plants requires and...
Viscount Ridley: Does my noble friend agree that blockchain technology in general has applications far beyond this trial—indeed, all the way across government and society? Are the Government studying the phenomenon to check where it might be useful?
Viscount Ridley: My Lords, like others, I commend my noble friend—indeed, my noble kinsman—Lord Selborne for his very skilful chairing of this report. Like the noble Lord, Lord Fox, I thank the other members of the committee for putting up with my strange interventions from time to time. I will focus on regulation and its impact on innovation; in particular, the first item of the Government’s response...
Viscount Ridley: Is the noble Baroness aware that the current revolution in shale gas started in the suburbs of Fort Worth, which is an inhabited city, and has reached its apogee in some very heavily populated areas of Pennsylvania?
Viscount Ridley: My Lords, it is always a great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Young of Norwood Green, who speaks a great deal of common sense on these issues. I declare my interests in energy as listed in the register—they are mainly in coal, which is threatened by shale gas, and so I should be against it but I am not. I first visited a shale gas well in Pennsylvania in 2011 while writing a report...
Viscount Ridley: My Lords—
Viscount Ridley: Will my noble friend explain how what she is saying now squares with what she said at the start of her speech about not challenging the result of the referendum?