It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms McDonagh.
I congratulate Faisal Rashid on securing today’s important debate, and commend the impassioned speeches by the hon. Members for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Justin Madders), for High Peak (Ruth George), for Glasgow North East (Mr Sweeney), for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens), and for North West Durham (Laura Pidcock).
I am very pleased to engage in this debate. Before I address the individual points made by hon. Members, I want to put it on record that the Government recognise the important role that trade unions play across the United Kingdom, and I personally recognise the important role that they play. In my role as a constituency MP, I have worked closely with trade union representatives at Rolls-Royce, which has a site at Barnoldswick in my constituency, and since my appointment as Business and Industry Minister, I have met trade union representatives at BAE Systems here in Parliament and trade union representatives at British Steel on a visit to Scunthorpe.