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Mr. Bercow: The verdict of the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, Chris Humphries, is that

In the Queen's speech of 1999, however, the Government promised to

In the light of those statements, is the right hon. Lady proud of the fact that, all this time later, the Regulatory Reform Bill has still not been given a Second Reading?

Mrs. Liddell: We heard from the hon. Member for Lichfield about the some of the regulations that the hon. Gentleman, and presumably other Opposition Members, would like the Government to get rid of. Those include measures on maternity pay and the national minimum wage. However, I am interested in conscious measures that have a direct relevance to ordinary people as they go about their lives.

Opposition Members are determined to ignore the fact that the Government have been prepared to act to assist business. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) is parroting on, but he could not even manage to make a speech in this debate. His remarks will not change our attitude in any way. We make no apologies for introducing improved workers' rights, as such rights are an important part of a civilised society.

My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mr. Purchase) spoke about the need to extend management development and training. The hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. Robertson) made the same point. Management development and training are a key aspect of a knowledge-driven economy. Such an economy is not only about increasing technical skills, but about ensuring that our businesses have the best possible management and leadership skills. I take on board the point made by my hon. Friend in that respect. He also made a telling point about the need for flexible skills in a changing economy--a concern that was also mentioned by Opposition Members. That issue underpins every aspect of the Government's economic, industrial and education policy.

The hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire spoke about the sorts of regulations and measures the Government see as positive. The CBI recognises the work

24 Jan 2001 : Column 978

that we are doing through the regional development agencies, which are the instruments that allow us to provide assistance at the very sharp end.

Mr. Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton): Ghastly things.

Mrs. Liddell: The hon. Gentleman uses the word "ghastly". That is what he thinks about giving direct assistance to parts of the country that require such help as they cope with economic change.

The Government understand the challenges faced by manufacturing industry, but we cannot wish them away. Opposition Members have repeatedly referred to the euro. They fail to recognise that their policy is not only economically illiterate, but does nothing to help manufacturing industry to plan for the future. We recognise the values of a successful single currency, but the economic preconditions must be right. Of course, Opposition Members say no to the single currency, or at least that it will not be introduced for a period that will be decided arbitrarily.

The hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) spoke about the aerospace industry, but he failed to acknowledge the 22,000 additional jobs that are being created in British Aerospace. [Interruption.] It is BAE to which I am specifically referring. The hon. Member for Ribble Valley also failed to point out that 55.9 per cent. fewer people were on the unemployment register in his constituency in 2000 than there were when the Government were elected. That was helped by a further drop of 3.6 per cent. He failed also to recognise that we are dealing with a modern economy and creating jobs and opportunities. He had some cheek to speak to us about Ravenscraig. I represent one of the constituencies affected by Ravenscraig. It took a Labour Government to bring about the changes being made to the site, which are transforming it into a section of Lanarkshire that will be a beacon for all of Scotland. It was the actions of the Conservative party that closed Ravenscraig in the first place. Perhaps he would like to take up the matter with my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell and Wishaw (Mr. Roy), who worked as a shop steward in the Ravenscraig plant at the time in question.

My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East asked about information and consultation. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced only last week that we will review all UK arrangements affecting collective redundancies. That review will consider whether current laws are working and, in particular, whether more should be done to promote effective consultation with employees. We will involve both the Trades Union Congress and the CBI. That is a sensible way forward that does not resemble the jingoistic, knee-jerk response of Opposition Members. As I said, they have only one killer proposal: putting somebody else on to a committee. Opposition Members do not understand manufacturing industry. If they did, they would be ashamed to come to the House in view of their record. From 1979 onwards, 3 million manufacturing jobs disappeared.

We will address the difficulties of parts of manufacturing industry that are suffering through changes in the global economy and in their industries. However, we shall also celebrate those manufacturing industries that

24 Jan 2001 : Column 979

are growing and exporting, and form part of the knowledge-based economy. In partnership, we will ensure that stability, a sound economy and the sort of economic climate in which companies can plan and grow will lead to more jobs and improved competitiveness.

I urge the House to reject the motion and support the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 171, Noes 286.

Division No. 84
[7 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baldry, Tony
Ballard, Jackie
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brand, Dr Peter
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Cash, William
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Collins, Tim
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Evans, Nigel
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Faber, David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Malins, Humfrey
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Willetts, David
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. James Gray and
Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Pearson, Ian
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, Nick
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Walley, Ms Joan
Watts, David
White, Brian
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Wilson, Brian
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Mike Hall and
Mr. Robert Ainsworth.

Question accordingly negatived.

24 Jan 2001 : Column 982

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):--

The House divided: Ayes 313, Noes 132.

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