7 Mims Davies debates involving the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Tue 28th Nov 2017
Budget Resolutions
Commons Chamber

1st reading: House of Commons
Mon 20th Nov 2017
Tue 24th Oct 2017
Smart Meters Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons
Mon 16th Oct 2017
Nuclear Safeguards Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading: House of Commons
Tue 10th Oct 2017
Wed 19th Jul 2017

Budget Resolutions

Mims Davies Excerpts
1st reading: House of Commons
Tuesday 28th November 2017

(6 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Finance Act 2018 View all Finance Act 2018 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think the hon. Gentleman misunderstands what was said. The OBR recognised that its forecast that the productivity rate would recover after the financial crisis, which it has been making for many years, has not been realised. There has been no new event; it has just recognised what has happened, which has had consequences for the financial forecasts. Faced with that, the right thing to do is to look seriously for the long term—I do not think that this matter divides Members—at how we can act on the foundations of productivity. Talking about investment in research and development, the infrastructure that we depend on and sources of finance for growing businesses in every part of the country is a serious response to the OBR’s revised productivity forecast.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

As 100 new jobs come to Hedge End and 500 to Chandler’s Ford, productivity and accessibility are really important to the Solent area. Will the Secretary of State work with local enterprise partnerships to ensure that infrastructure and the need for local investment feed into the industrial strategy?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I will indeed. Throughout my time in this House and in this Government, I have promoted the importance of places and local leadership and of ensuring that investment decisions benefit from local knowledge and local decisions. The Budget and the industrial strategy reinforce that. To have a prosperous United Kingdom, every part of it needs to be maximising its potential, so the strategy very much works with cities, towns and regions across the UK. We are inviting areas to promote local industrial strategies that state what needs to be done locally to make a particular town, city or county fit for the future and able to attract new business investment.

--- Later in debate ---
Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Cardiff North (Anna McMorrin) and to speak briefly about the Budget and its focus on the future successful economy that we need. The Budget is one of fair taxes, improving productivity, tackling our housing issues, supporting public services and making sure that we build the homes the country needs.

It is this Government who are tackling the gender pay gap. They are bringing forward T-levels and maths training, and Barton Peveril College and Eastleigh College in my constituency will be helping with that. They are increasing the personal tax allowance to nearly £12,000. They are freezing fuel duty and duty on beer, wine and spirits. They are embracing technology and establishing a new national creative industries policy, while also focusing on improving our environment. What is not to like about that?

Let us move on to house prices. One of the concerns most regularly voiced by my constituents is not only that they cannot afford a house, but that their children and even their grandchildren cannot afford a house or imagine a future that their parents had. Work done by this Government has saved nearly £2,000 on stamp duty for first-time buyers in my constituency. That will help to get people on to the housing ladder, which, a couple of years ago, would have been deemed simply unachievable, so my message to the Chancellor is: thank you.

My other message to the Chancellor is: please can we have the Botley bypass and the Chickenhall link road? As long as we work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the new industrial strategy, those projects, dear Ministers, will not only help our productivity, but tackle local air pollution and the low productivity issue in the Solent. Those are real benefits for real people of all ages.

I must also thank the Chancellor for not raising air passenger duty, as that really matters to our regional airports. It is a testament to this Government that hard-working people are being supported to get on in life. My local paper highlights the fact that nearly 600 new jobs have been created in Hedge End and Chandlers Ford. This is a good Budget, which should be applauded and supported in this House. I look forward to walking through the Lobby in support of it and making sure that we deliver the technology, the productivity and the opportunities for Britain.

Companies House and Transgender Persons

Mims Davies Excerpts
Monday 20th November 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Nicky Morgan (Loughborough) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful to be granted this Adjournment debate, which is particularly appropriate as today is the annual Trans Day of Remembrance, remembering those who have lost their life to anti-trans violence and those who continue to face anti-trans rhetoric and abuse.

During my time as Minister for Equalities, I was able to engage with the transgender community on a national level and to learn more about the inequalities they face and how those inequalities affect their daily lives. I was therefore pleased to publish the Government’s response to the report of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee on transgender equality in July 2016, which was another step towards acknowledging that, although we have the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and although the coalition Government published the world’s first transgender action plan in 2011, the Government, among others, could do more to address the remaining inequalities, unfairness, violence and discrimination faced by transgender people.

Since July 2016, I have welcomed the work in this area by my successors, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) and the Minister for Equalities, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (Nick Gibb). I was particularly pleased to learn that the vast majority of commitments made in the Government’s 2011 action plan have now been met, and I look forward to reading the Government’s new action plan on transgender issues when it is published.

I also welcome the Government’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survey on experiences of using public services in the UK, which will no doubt help guide future policy on improving public services for LGBT users. Finally, I support the Government’s plans to consult on the Gender Recognition Act, which will look to improve the recognition process and reduce the stigma faced by the transgender community. I understand that the proposals will include removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before a person is able to apply for gender recognition, as well as options for reducing the length and intrusiveness of the gender recognition system.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I thank my right hon. Friend for her work when she was Minister for Equalities.

This is, of course, the annual Trans Day of Remembrance. The inequalities that trans people face are extraordinarily great, and the violence and discrimination they face are really concerning. Does my right hon. Friend agree that, as the first Parliament in the world to consider these issues and given the amount of work that still needs to be done, what we are discussing this evening is easily rectifiable for this important community?

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Nicky Morgan
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend very much for that. I am going on to show that we are dealing with a simple loophole, which is completely unintended, and closing it would be another step that Government and Ministers could take to show a continued commitment to the transgender equality plan. Some of these very simple steps can make a great deal of difference to people, both those who are watching tonight and those who find out about this debate later.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 7th November 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. The predictability of the regulatory environment is extremely important for future investment. It is one reason why we have introduced the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which will be ahead of the world in establishing the right regulatory environment for electric and autonomous vehicles. Again, this is something that has commanded the attention of the world, and it is exactly in line with what he says.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

As we take steps to grow the economy and decrease emissions, will the Secretary of State commit to working with all businesses involved on the noise that autonomous and electric vehicles make, as highlighted by my deaf and blind constituents, and to working with the disabilities agenda as this new technology moves forward?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that one of the advantages of the new technologies is that they give particular hope to people who find it difficult or impossible to use conventional vehicles. Part of the point of putting together the research in the automotive, renewable energy, healthcare and social care sectors is that we can join the benefits of all of them in a single programme.

Smart Meters Bill

Mims Davies Excerpts
2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion: House of Commons & Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons
Tuesday 24th October 2017

(6 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Smart Meters Act 2018 View all Smart Meters Act 2018 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. At the moment, an imbalance in information characterises the energy market. The suppliers know pretty well the consumption patterns of their customers, but those same data are not available to the customers to help them see whether they could make considerable savings either with another supplier or in a different type of tariff that might, for example, reward the use of appliances at off-peak times. It is a very important change.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I note that the Bill is just the start in terms of innovation. However, a local college, a training provider for placing these meters, has raised this issue with me. It said that some energy companies have outsourced the placement work and the training and that the installation is not happening because the training courses are not sufficient. Do the energy companies have a question to answer when it comes to really helping consumers?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend raises an important point. I would be very pleased to take up the particular concerns of her college. The energy companies do have an obligation to roll out smart meters. If they subcontract the work, they do not escape their responsibilities. Again, the purpose of the Bill is to extend the current regulatory powers through to the end of the roll-out so that we can ensure that the higher standards apply.

Nuclear Safeguards Bill

Mims Davies Excerpts
2nd reading: House of Commons
Monday 16th October 2017

(6 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 View all Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Mansfield (Ben Bradley), and to be called to participate in this fascinating and wide-ranging debate. We have heard tonight about gramophones, “Dr Strangelove”, beefing up, belts and braces, “blah blah blah”, and the “neverendum”, but we did hear a lot of sense in the contributions of my hon. Friends the Members for North West Hampshire (Kit Malthouse) and for Copeland (Trudy Harrison).

Security of our energy is paramount—on a daily basis in our lives, for every one of us in our hospitals and schools, and in terms of our daily safety. Securing the position of the UK as an international nuclear state is therefore vital as we pave our way out of the EU.

As we heard from the Secretary of State at the start of the debate, this is a simple and prudent Bill whose message is timely. This evening, the fact that the Government are actively working through this Bill to ensure that the UK continues to meet our international obligations for nuclear safeguards while also continuing the UK’s reputation as a responsible nuclear state has been warmly welcomed. Let us be clear: the UK will continue to support Euratom, and in the meantime we will seek, through this Bill, continuity on co-operation and standards.

I believe the Bill will bolster the roles and responsibilities of the UK’s existing nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, once we leave Euratom. Despite “Project Fear”, which we have heard a lot about tonight, the collaboration between scientists and those in the nuclear sector is vitally important to all aspects of our co-operation. The Government want, and, more importantly, intend, to see this continue. It is clear at the outset that the industrial strategy includes nuclear and supports the scientific community through this, and builds on that through Brexit. While the Opposition refuse to accept the public’s decision to leave the European Union, the Government continue to get on with the job of ensuring a responsible withdrawal.

Julian Knight Portrait Julian Knight (Solihull) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Does my hon. Friend agree that it is highly appropriate that this should be the first piece of oven-ready Brexit legislation, as that shows the importance of this industry and of safeguards in it?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
- Hansard - -

So we can add “oven-ready” to “boil in the bag” Brexit, perhaps; yes, it is the latest example of that important vote. As we heard this evening from my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Tom Pursglove), what we are doing as we leave the EU really matters in terms of the message we give to our constituents. Those on both sides of the argument are seeing us preparing for what is going to happen.

Let us make no mistake about this: the Opposition have no care for the nuclear industry, they do not support the vital role that it plays within our energy mix, and they do not respect the jobs and communities that rely on it. We heard that this evening from my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland: in an excellent and rounded speech on the industry and what it means to her constituency, we heard a lot about what the impact on her community would be if we got this wrong, and that applies across the UK. In stark contrast to the Opposition, the Government stand ready to take up the important role of protecting our world-leading nuclear industry during and before Brexit, so we can enable the UK to continue to meet its international nuclear obligations as it leaves Euratom.

I will therefore be strongly supporting this Bill this evening, and hope that all Opposition Members will follow Conservatives in doing so.

Bombardier

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 10th October 2017

(6 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful for the questions from the Chairman of the Select Committee. In terms of the process, only Boeing can withdraw the complaint. There is an administrative requirement on the part of the Department of Commerce to determine, initially, a complaint, hence the desire—and I think it is highly desirable—that Boeing withdraw this complaint. If it will not—and, so far, it has not—it must be determined in a completely fair and objective way. If it is, it will have no merit, and will be thrown out. Both are therefore important, but it would be in the interests of everyone in the workforce and in the country that the complaint be withdrawn so that this uncertainty can be taken away.

In terms of the points that I put to Dennis Muilenburg, who is the chief executive of Boeing, we were very clear that Boeing has a reputation in this country that was beginning to grow in a positive way through the investment in Sheffield and elsewhere, and to jeopardise that reputation and relationship by doing something that is completely unjustified is something that I do not regard as in the strategic interests of Boeing, and I said that very explicitly in terms.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I thank the Secretary of State for the statement and for his balanced comments this afternoon. Our airports and our aerospace sector really matter to many communities represented across this House in terms of local jobs and prosperity, and particularly to Southampton in my constituency, which is No. 1 in Europe and No. 2 in the world. What estimates has my right hon. Friend made of the potential for growth in this sector, despite this mighty challenges?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am glad my hon. Friend asked that question, because, as the whole House knows, the aerospace sector in this country is one of our proudest success stories. It is growing. It is a huge source of exports—over 90% of the product of our aerospace sector is exported. Productivity growth, which is much debated in the House at the moment, is six times the rate in the economy as a whole. A quarter of a million very highly paid jobs are in aerospace, and we are absolutely determined—those colleagues who are familiar with our industrial strategy will see this in advanced manufacturing and in aerospace in particular—to build on those strengths and advance them. That is why the Boeing investment in Sheffield was welcomed, but to see that relationship jeopardised by this complaint is a huge setback and a bitter disappointment.

Tuition Fees

Mims Davies Excerpts
Wednesday 19th July 2017

(6 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Johnson of Marylebone Portrait Joseph Johnson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Indeed. Our system of student finance is enabling our universities to be funded sustainably. As I have said, per-student, per-degree funding is up by 25%, but we will put all that at risk if we move anywhere near Labour’s policy platform.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
- Hansard - -

Is it not true that Labour Members are now feigning confusion over parliamentary process on this, having previously deliberately created their own confusion? The reality on the doorsteps across Eastleigh was that Labour’s promise to deal with tuition fees included the possibility of covering bank overdrafts. Does the Minister agree that this is an empty promise from a mathematically illiterate party? People felt bank overdrafts, as well as student loans, were being dealt with.

Lord Johnson of Marylebone Portrait Joseph Johnson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That goes to show the extent to which the Labour party misled the country in the run-up to the general election, and I think my hon. Friend’s constituents are owed an apology.

Let us not forget that it was a Labour Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair who sensibly put in place these legal powers, which we used some six months ago, to uprate fees in line with inflation through a negative procedure. However, under the regulations we are debating today, rather than increasing fees for everyone, we are only allowing providers to maintain their fees in line with inflation if they can demonstrate that they are using these resources well in terms of providing high-quality teaching and good outcomes for their students. Universities UK and GuildHE, the two main representative bodies that collectively represent over 170 higher education providers, have made it clear that allowing the value of fees to be maintained in real terms is essential if our providers are to continue to deliver high-quality teaching. Gordon McKenzie, the chief executive of GuildHE, made it clear that

“fees had to rise by inflation at some point and it was fairer for students if those rises were linked to an assessment of quality”,

as the Government are doing.