Emissions and Vehicle Type Approval — [Steve McCabe in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 1:51 pm on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire 1:51 pm, 20th April 2017

I shall speak only briefly, because the speech by Mrs Ellman, the Chair of the Transport Committee, was all-encompassing and forensic in its detailed examination of the issue.

The Minister, his Parliamentary Private Secretary—my hon. Friend Mike Freer—and I all believe in free enterprise and salute what business does to pay for public services. However, that is not a blank cheque from the Conservative Benches. As the Prime Minister has said eloquently on a number of occasions, we believe in holding business to account and in holding it to high standards. Given what the Chair of the Transport Committee said, there are genuine questions to be asked. Why are Canadian and American consumers already receiving compensation, while UK consumers are not? Indeed, in my view the Government are out of pocket because of the tax revenue they should have received.

We all know that there is a huge need for infrastructure investment for the ultra-low emission vehicles of the future. I know that the Minister is passionate about the subject. He shares my desire to roll out new-energy vehicles—as they are called in China—across the country. That roll-out will require considerable public investment. Volkswagen is Europe’s largest car manufacturer; it is not a poor company. I would like to see UK consumers being put back in pocket, the Government receiving the tax revenue they have lost, and a contribution made towards the infrastructure that this country will need in order to roll out the clean-energy vehicles of the future.

I have great confidence in my right hon. Friend the Minister. He is indeed a friend; he is a fine Minister and cares deeply about his briefs. He will have been as concerned as I was to hear the report that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside put before the House in such an exemplary manner today.