Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr Speaker: Order. Approximately 45 Members are seeking to catch my eye on this extremely important matter. I am keen to accommodate as many of them as possible, but if I am to do so, brevity will be of the essence. That can now be exemplified by a man of great experience and long service in the House of Commons: the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr Lilley).

    Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): I am grateful, Mr Speaker.

    Can my right hon. Friend confirm that the reason we are dependent on foreign companies to build these nuclear power plants is that the last Labour Government sold off Westinghouse to the Japanese and then sold British Energy to the French when the current Leader of the Opposition was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change?

    Given that the one area in which we retain nuclear expertise is in building small nuclear generators, will my right hon. Friend look closely at the proposals put forward by the noble Lord Ridley for building small nuclear reactors in future, to provide electricity and possibly an export market as well?

    Mr Davey: My right hon. Friend makes some pertinent and relevant points. I am not aware of the noble Lord Ridley’s proposal, but I am aware that Rolls-Royce has been doing a lot of research and development into small modular nuclear plants, and clearly that is extremely interesting. It shows that there are British nuclear firms with skills and expertise, and they are welcoming our proposals today.