I welcome the new Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Stuart Andrew, to his place. They say the first time is always the worst. I understand that he was born on Ynys Môn and that he was a member of the Labour party. We would like to welcome him back, but we might be full.
With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Welsh Assembly: there was an announcement by Stonewall this morning that they are the No. 1 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employer in the UK. I will not mention that Swansea City beat Arsenal 3-1 last night.
Manufacturers across the UK consider the world-leading tidal lagoon industry a lifeline for their businesses. Thousands of skilled jobs in cross-border factories are earmarked to supply the lagoons, and they are at risk because the UK Government cannot make a decision. The Secretary of State has said many times that he would love it to happen. The Welsh Labour Government have pledged millions to the Swansea bay tidal lagoon. Thierry Henry says, “It’s a no regrets decision.” Has the Secretary of State anything constructive to report? In the words of Gavin and Stacey, “What’s occurring?”
Reply received from Secretary of State for Wales – Alun Cairns MP
I join the hon. Lady in recognising the Welsh Assembly for their recognition by Stonewall; that is something to be accepted, underlined and recognised. I also recognise, as a City supporter, the success that Swansea had last night. She raises an important point about the Swansea bay tidal lagoon. As I have said previously, I really would like this to happen, as would the whole of the UK Government. After all, we gave planning permission for it after the 2015 general election. We would like to see progress on it, but, clearly, it must be value for money. The Welsh Government have communicated with the UK Government about something that they call “an offer”. Last week, officials from my office, the Welsh Government, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy met to establish what this offer amounts to. We will continue discussions. I point out to her that she needs to look at the jobs that will be created in the long term, and not those thousands of jobs that she talked about, because the project itself will deliver 40 or more jobs.