New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: The director of ExxonMobil Chemical, in my constituency, has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills about a threat to the industry caused by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to seek a further assessment of a plasticiser, a key product that has just been given a relatively clean bill of health by the appropriate European body. The director has yet to receive a reply, but the House needs an urgent statement from the Secretary of State about this threat to such an important industry in Hampshire.

[The First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr William Hague): The industry is very important for Hampshire and, indeed, the whole of the United Kingdom. I am sure it provides employment for many of my hon. Friend’s constituents, so he is quite right to raise the issue. I cannot give him an immediate answer, but I will refer his interest to my hon. Friends at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Although we do not have much of this Parliament left, there will be questions to the Business Secretary on 26 March. I will ensure my hon. Friend’s urgent interest is registered with BIS, and he may be able to return to it then.]