Upcoming Business – Lords: Select Committee (9 Jan 2018)
Economic Affairs Committee: The economics of higher, further and technical education. 3:30 pm; Room 1, Palace of Westminster
Witnesses: (at 3:35 PM) Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: UK Automotive Sector (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: The UK’s automotive industry is a great British success story and, building on the success of institutes such as the Advanced Propulsion Centre, we have agreed an automotive sector deal to ensure that we continue to reap the benefits from the transition to ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles. Our ambition is to build innovative and competitive supply chains to increase the value of UK...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: Two weeks ago I announced the location for the new national Faraday battery scale-up facility, which will be built in Coventry. On the same day, Jaguar Land Rover announced its intention to produce battery electric vehicles in the west midlands, thus bringing the region to the forefront of modern mobility in the United Kingdom.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: UK Automotive Sector (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the agreement we reach will be free not only of tariffs but of the types of frictions he describes. It is important for our successful industry, and not just the automotive sector, that that is the deal we conclude. I hope he will welcome the progress that was made towards that deal last week.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: My hon. Friend has made an excellent point. Part of the programme involves test beds to demonstrate the new technologies. The demonstrations will be open to the public so that they can see for themselves, and they will begin in Milton Keynes, Greenwich, Bristol and Coventry. However, people are already experiencing these technologies through satnav, cruise control and automatic parking, and I...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman will be pleased to know that I shall be meeting the head of Ford’s European operations immediately after this session to discuss the fact that Ford has based its new development of electric and autonomous vehicles in Britain.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: UK Automotive Sector (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: Given what he said, I hope the hon. Gentleman will welcome the supply chain initiative, which is at the heart of the sector deal to increase the level of UK content. But one way or another the motor industry, like so many others, is based on its good relations, not just across Europe, but around the world, and it is essential that the deal we do allows that to continue and indeed to prosper...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I do agree with that, and I commend my hon. Friend as the former life sciences Minister who saw before many people the opportunities of the strategic approach. I think he has been honoured this very week by the learned societies for his contribution to promoting science in Parliament, and I congratulate him on that. He is absolutely right that we need to build on these successes. The life...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: Very good progress is being made with the leaders of the ceramics sector, of which there is a significant cluster in north Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, where Dr Laura Cohen leads the sector. In the months ahead, we hope and expect to be able to conclude a deal with the sector that will capitalise on the enormous opportunity, especially given the new uses of ceramics in, for example, the...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I will indeed. The industrial strategy makes it clear that being at the forefront of the regulatory standards for these new technologies gives us a big advantage. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which is currently before Parliament, is intended to establish—before most other countries—the right regulatory standards, so that we can make progress with those technologies.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Electric and Autonomous Vehicles (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I think the hon. Gentleman knows that I have continuous discussions with all the sectors for which I am responsible, including the automotive sector. They lead me to make sure that, as part of our negotiating mandate, we get the best possible deal. The agreement achieved in Brussels last week, including the transitional phase, had been pressed for by the automotive sector in particular.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I do not agree with the hon. Lady, and if she reads the industrial strategy she will see that the biggest increase in science and innovation investment for 40 years has been triggered by this. It is the right way to go, and it has been welcomed by all parties across the country. It would be helpful if the hon. Lady recognised that many other countries have benefited from a strong national...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: We know that the best way to improve our productivity is by investing in research and development, improving the level of skills in our workforce, upgrading our infrastructure, creating an attractive environment for new and growing businesses, and making sure that every place in the country can prosper. That is exactly what the industrial strategy does.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: UK Automotive Sector (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: Both Honda and BMW have been part of the sectoral council that has helped to create institutions that have trained people, and developed research and development; they are a very valued part of the sector deal, which has been so warmly welcomed by the industry.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: No: if the hon. Gentleman reads the strategy he will see that there is a commitment to the biggest increase in research and development funding, both private and public sector, that we have ever had in this country. It has been the foundation of our success, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will join me in welcoming the progress we are making to be even better at it.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: UK Automotive Sector (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: My hon. Friend is absolutely right on that, and the commitment we have made to being the world centre for research in new battery technology, through the Faraday challenge, is already commanding attention right around the world. The investment in skills that accompanies this strategy will make sure that her constituents and others in the region will benefit from the jobs that result.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I am glad my hon. Friend mentions that, because the construction sector is one of the areas in which there are big opportunities. It has a sector deal that has been concluded as part of the industrial strategy, and representatives of the sector have said that this represents a major opportunity, especially in offsite manufacture.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: The industrial strategy White Paper highlighted the emphatic support for sector deals, encouraging any sector to come forward with proposals on how, working in partnership with the Government, that sector can grow and increase its investment, productivity and earning power. A number of sectors have signalled their interest in developing a sector deal, including, as my hon. Friend knows, the...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: I am delighted to hear the hon. Lady’s endorsement of that, and she is absolutely right that there is an opportunity for sector deals for many sectors, including those she mentioned. We are already in discussions with many of those sectors, including the food and drink sector and the hospitality sector; we expect to see early sector deals concluded in them. I am delighted that the hon....

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (12 Dec 2017)
Greg Clark: The most important thing is that we have excellent products here, and I am proud to say that we do in the automotive sector. The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that the Government changed the procurement guidelines to allow the importance of local impact to be taken into account. I hope he welcomes that.


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