Manufacturing Industry — [Joan Walley in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:29 pm on 2nd December 2009.

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Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills) 3:29 pm, 2nd December 2009

It is a great pleasure to appear under your chairmanship, Ms Walley.

I congratulate my hon. Friend Dr. Pugh on securing the debate. I shall come back to his remarks in a moment, but first I must say that it is always a great pleasure to follow Mr. Hoyle. I vividly recall his debate in this Chamber on 9 June, when many of the same points were made. He mentioned at the beginning of his interesting speech his constituent's willingness to collaborate and to welcome others on to his site. He might be interested to read a recent CBI publication about the shape of business in 2020-a think-tank work aimed at showing how business will change. One of the most interesting points in it is that business will become collaborative: rather than having, as now, a big blob that deals at arm's length with all the little blobs, there will be a cross over, and some financing will come from the bigger commissioning companies through the suppliers. What the hon. Gentleman said is early evidence of that.

I also congratulate Andrew Miller on his remarks. I am most grateful to him for the compliment that he paid me in suggesting that I may one day have the power to make a decision about a ministerial car-a decision I look forward to eagerly. More important, his remarks on small and medium-sized enterprises were apposite and good.