I thank Members for their valuable contributions to this debate—and, indeed, to the other, general debate I seem to have been hearing about coronavirus support beyond the regulations. Members have highlighted the importance of the measures that the regulations extend and the necessity of extending them so that businesses can continue to benefit from them.
I welcome the return to working with the hon. Member for Manchester Central (Lucy Powell). We are in a grander setting than usual, but the conversation remains. I understand her concern about the fact that we have come back to extend these regulations, but it is important to remember that they contain some important powers on things such as wrongful trading and the moratorium, and that we are holding a lot of things in stasis. It is right that we get the balance right between giving businesses the certainty that she rightly asks for and using Government interventions in these matters sparingly and continuing to scrutinise them in this place. I would rather that we come back and do our work regularly than overstep in respect of these powers and intervene too much in the economy. It is important to keep an eye on these things.
The hon. Lady raised the issue of those businesses that have been excluded, or that have been coming back with requests for more support, including the travel sector, the wedding sector and the visitor economy as well. They are all hugely important businesses and sectors that are vital for our recovery. We are working on all those areas. We have the global travel taskforce. My colleagues in the Department for Transport are working on international travel. I am working with colleagues on weddings. The Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Nigel Huddleston), is working on events and domestic tourism. All of these areas will be hugely important not just for the economy as a whole, but to get our towns and cities back open again. As Minister for London, that is something that I feel and see on a day-to-day basis.
The hon. Lady talked about Greensill and Liberty. Clearly, there are concerns here that need to be addressed, but, obviously, speculation about Liberty Steel and other businesses can in itself cause uncertainty to investors, employees, and people seeking to work with those companies. We are monitoring the situation. We are engaging with Liberty Steel, and we are engaging with the unions. I know that the owners of Liberty Steel are seeking a market solution, but we will continue to monitor that situation. We are also engaging with the sector, with trade unions and with the devolved Administrations to make sure that we can develop a long-term, sustainable future for the UK steel industry, because it clearly has an incredibly important role in the UK.
I say to my right hon. Friend the Member for South Northamptonshire (Andrea Leadsom), erstwhile Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, that we want to make sure that, within our Department, we are building on her excellent work in the areas of audit reform and corporate governance. She rightly pointed out some significant failures, including BHS and Carillion to name just two, and we want to make sure that we can work on that within our audit reform work. We have already published a consultation to enhance the UK’s audit control and regulation, and we will make sure that we have full debates in this place as we bring those proposals forward for scrutiny in Parliament and in terms of legislation.
Let me turn now to the hon. Member for Aberdeen North (Kirsty Blackman). I would like to pass on my thanks to others who noted her comments on depression in a previous debate. It is so, so important to speak out. I really welcome her personalised appeal to people, making sure that they know that it is okay not to be okay. They were wise words, and words that we must all take on board. There has been a mental health aspect to the lockdown. Obviously, business uncertainty plays a part. There are lots of businesses, small and large, that I see and hear from on a day-to-day basis, which are incredibly stressed and incredibly worried. I valued her words.
The hon. Lady talked about companies struggling to get back on their feet. Clearly, that is the case. I do not want to get into a wider debate about coronavirus support, but we realise that, with many of these measures, there is the risk of cliff edges, and we will continue to work through those and to flex to make sure that we can support businesses. She talked about smaller organisations as well, especially around tech and IP. Yes, we must make sure that we are working on those, too.
Over the past year, businesses have faced an exceptionally challenging time, with many unable to trade, or their ability to trade at full capacity restricted owing to social distancing measures. These regulations will provide the much needed support for businesses as we continue with the Government’s four-step road map out of lockdown, allowing them to concentrate their best efforts on reopening or continuing to trade and building on the foundations for economic recovery in the UK. We want to get to that economic recovery.
Finally, let me answer the hon. Member for Sefton Central (Bill Esterson). When he was looking to throw this open to a wider debate, I think he missed the strengthening of our prompt payment code, which was done in consultation with the signatories to the payment code, and indeed the fact that we have got more to sign up to that as well. When he was looking for a wider debate about coronavirus, he also missed the plan for growth, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It looks beyond these measures. It is a plan and, funnily enough, it is a plan for growth, which goes beyond 30 June. Careful consideration has been given to extending these temporary measures, and the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.
I thank hon. Members for their valuable contributions to the debate. I commend the regulations to the House.
Question put and agreed to.
That the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 375), dated 22 March 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 24 March, be approved.