Ceramic and Brick Industries

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:53 pm on 15th June 2016.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire 4:53 pm, 15th June 2016

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Chope. I congratulate my hon. Friend Wendy Morton on securing this debate.

I shall focus on the EU emissions trading system policy, which has already been highlighted but is of particular concern to Wienerberger, a brick manufacturer based in Kingsbury in my constituency. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills, I had the chance to stand on top of the kiln when I visited the company recently, which was quite exciting. Wienerberger has 13 factories throughout the country that produce bricks and roof tiles. It is employs 1,165 people in the UK. Its Kingsbury factory alone produces 40 million bricks per annum, which is enough to build 5,000 new homes.

Wienerberger’s specific problem is the proposal concerning the future carbon leakage policy. As has already been pointed out, and as I know the Minister is aware, carbon leakage in this sense refers to the relocation of UK production to locations where it is cheaper to manufacture because of environmental policies and/or lower energy costs. The direct result is a loss of investment and jobs from the UK economy. In EU ETS phase 3, ceramic sector installations, which include brick and clay roof tile factories, are deemed to be at risk of carbon leakage. As a result, factories receive a proportion of allowances based on the average of the top 10 performers across the EU in that sector, free of charge. If, as has been proposed by the UK and France, a tiered approach to carbon leakage risk is adopted in phase 4, it is likely that the ceramic sector will be reclassified as no or low risk and will thus receive significantly less free allocation.