Robert Goodwill – 2019 Statement on the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Below is the text of the statement made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in the House of Commons on 14 May 2019.

Agriculture and Fisheries Council takes place in Brussels on 14 May.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for agriculture will be on the post-2020 common agricultural policy (CAP) reform package. Ministers will exchange views on the new delivery model in the regulation on CAP strategic plans.

Member states will also exchange views on the agricultural aspects of the Commission’s communication titled “Clean Planet for all: strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy”.

The Commission will then provide an update on the performance of EU agricultural trade after which Ministers will hold an exchange of views.

There are currently three items scheduled for discussion under ‘any other business’:

Information from the Netherlands delegation on the judgement of the Court of Justice on organisms obtained by mutagenesis (case C-528/16).

Information from the Spanish and French delegations on the regulation on the European maritime and fisheries fund.

Information by the Belgian delegation on the situation in the fruit sector for apples and pears.

Robert Goodwill – 2019 Statement on the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Below is the text of the statement made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in the House of Commons on 2 May 2019.

I represented the UK at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on 15 April.

The main item on the agenda was the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) post-2020, with a focus on the proposed new green architecture. Ministers highlighted their willingness to commit to higher levels of overall ambition such as spending 30% of pillar 2 funding on climate change actions, and endorsed the new policy design. However, some member states also pressed for large chunks of the Commission’s proposals to be optional, including some of the Commission’s eco-schemes.

This was followed by a ministerial lunch debate which focused on the impact of large carnivores and other species on agriculture. The Commission’s position that 100 % state aid was permissible to compensate for attacks on livestock did not satisfy several member states, who wanted greater latitude for farmers to shoot wolves and other predators.

Council reconvened with an exchange of views on the task force in rural Africa, with the final report proposing a new alliance between the EU and Africa. I intervened on the item, highlighting the importance of developing countries in the global food supply and giving examples from UK projects that increase smallholder inclusion in the value chain and empower women economically.

Commissioner Hogan also provided an update on the market situation, describing a stable and positive picture overall with concerns in sugar, apples and pears, and olive oil.

A number of other items were discussed under “any other business”:

The Netherlands informed Council about EU action against deforestation and forest degradation. I intervened, stressing our support for the proposal and encouraged the Commission to prepare an ambitious communication to step up action against deforestation.

Slovakia presented its joint declaration with the Czech Republic and Poland on the renewable energy directive post-2020.

The presidency informed the Council of the outcome of the research and agriculture conference held in Bucharest on 5 April.

Robert Goodwill – 2019 Statement on the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Below is the text of the statement made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in the House of Commons on 24 April 2019.

It is normal practice when a Government Department proposes to undertake a contingent liability in excess of £300,000 and outside the normal course of business, for the Minister concerned to lay a departmental Minute before Parliament giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances. The Department should refrain from incurring the liability until 14 parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the statement.

This Minute relates to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), an Executive agency of DEFRA, entering into a commercial arrangement with the Kuwait environment public authority (an authority of the Government of Kuwait) who have asked CEFAS to contract with them to provide a marine environment monitoring information system for Kuwait. This is proposed to be a four-year contract of marine science services for which the Kuwaitis will cover all CEFAS’s costs of around £40 million.

The Kuwait Government wish to enhance their national environmental management capability to world leading standards and are pursuing a strategy of working with the best international government bodies from strategic partner countries. This Kuwaiti Government objective is being delivered under their Environment Monitoring Information System Kuwait (eMISK) programme which spans marine, waste, terrestrial, air and subsurface environments. The Kuwait environment public authority have asked CEFAS to tender for the marine programme and this is supported by both countries at ministerial level, as set out in the inter-government declarations of the joint steering group.

The benefits of this work to both Governments are the significant contributions it will make to the long-term health of the Gulf marine environment. It will also engage the next generation of Kuwaiti scientists in bilateral co-operation with the UK, maintain and develop CEFAS’s international capability, and position both Kuwait and the UK in a leading position in this area of science.​
The contractual arrangements between the two parties follow standard Kuwaiti national commercial terms and conditions and include two contingent liabilities relating to a performance bond and liquidated damages claims. These liabilities are limited to a maximum of 20% of the £40 million contract value. Professional indemnity insurance will be purchased, using contract funds, to protect the Department against these risks leaving a residual excess value of no more than £250,000. Only uninsurable risks remain which would be due to late delivery or third-party claims.

CEFAS and DEFRA have considered the risks of this indemnity and they believe the likelihood of such indemnities being called upon is very low. Agency or departmental budgets are expected to fund any liability call. If such budgets are insufficient then any payment would be sought through the normal supply procedure.

The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle.

If, during the period of 14 parliamentary sitting days, beginning on the date on which this Minute was laid before Parliament, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a parliamentary question or by otherwise raising the matter in Parliament, final approval to proceed with incurring the liability will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

Robert Goodwill – 2019 Statement on the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Below is the text of the statement give by Robert Goodwill, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in the House of Commons on 2 April 2019.

I represented the UK at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on 18 March.

The main item on the agriculture-focused agenda was the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020, covering three legislative files:

the regulation on CAP strategic plans,

the horizontal regulation, which is a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP,

the regulation on common market organisation (CMO) of agricultural products.

Member states highlighted that further discussions were needed in areas such as the delivery model, wine labelling and greening. I intervened to introduce myself and expressed the UK’s interest to share thinking on our domestic arrangements as they develop. During the discussion Ministers also debated the outcome of the congress titled “CAP Strategic Plans – Exploring Eco-Climate Schemes” which took place in Leeuwarden, Netherlands on 6-8 February 2019, as well as the future of coupled income support in the CAP.

Council also held an exchange of views on the bioeconomy. Commissioner Hogan gave an overview of the implementation of the EU’s new strategy while member states exchanged examples of areas where the bioeconomy is being developed in their countries. ​I intervened on the item, welcoming the EU bioeconomy strategy and pointing to the UK’s national bioeconomy strategy which was published in December 2018.

A number of other items were discussed under ‘any other business’:

Slovenia informed Council about small-scale coastal fisheries and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The Netherlands informed Council about a decision by the Technical Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office regarding the possibility to patent the results of classical plant breeding.

The Commission provided an update about the outcomes of the workshops organised by the Commission Task Force for Water and Agriculture on 27 November 2018 in Sore, Denmark and on 5-6 February 2019 in Bucharest, Romania.

Poland provided an update on the potential impact on the meat market considering new trade challenges. As the discussion reflected on the possible impact of the UK leaving the EU, I intervened to set out the reasoning behind our recently published temporary tariff regime for no-deal.

Robert Goodwill – 2017 Speech at Nursery World Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State for Children and Families, at the Nursery World Summit on 8 November 2017.

I’d like to thank Liz Roberts for the invitation to speak to you all here today. Conferences like this are incredibly important, because they bring together a community of experts – all of whom are committed to making a difference to early years education, childcare and social mobility.

That’s why I want to use this opportunity today to speak to you about this Conservative Government’s vision for the early years, and what it means for the quality and outcomes for all children. Equally important, I want to thank the sector for all that you’ve done so far.

We all know that the first five years of a child’s life are critically important. They’re the foundation years that shape a child’s development, determine their readiness to learn at school, and they have an indelible influence on a child’s future.

Evidence shows that high-quality early years provision has a positive and lasting effect on children’s outcomes, future learning and life chances – regardless of the economic circumstances of their parents. Speech and language gaps appear by the age of two and early difficulties with language can affect pupils’ performance throughout primary school.

This Government is determined to close this gap, improve social mobility and extend opportunity for all. We also want to ensure that the cost of childcare is not a barrier to parents working, through our introduction of 30 hours free childcare for working parents. That’s why we will spend a record £6bn per year on childcare support by 2019/20 – more than ever before.

Furthermore, evidence shows that a high quality workforce has a major impact on children’s outcomes. We recognise that a well-qualified workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience is crucial to deliver high quality early education and childcare.

Indeed, we’ve already taken steps towards improving outcomes, and making childcare accessible and affordable to families across the country. I want to take a little time to talk about some of the things that we’ve achieved together.

We want every child to reach their full potential, and early language and literacy skills, as well as a child’s wider development, are critical to this. Good attainment in the early years puts children in the best position to start school.

Already, the latest results from the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile assessment tell us that children’s development is improving. The number of children achieving a good level of development continues to increase year on year – 71 per cent in 2017, up from 69 per cent in 2016; and from 52 per cent in 2013, when we introduced the revised Profile.

Thanks to phonics reforms, this year, over 154,000 more pupils are on track to be fluent readers than in 2012.

These improvements are a reflection of the hard work of early years and childcare providers. Now, 93 per cent of all providers – not just those delivering the free entitlements – are rated Good or Outstanding – the highest proportion ever. I am sure you’ll all agree with me that these are fantastic achievements.

However, not all children start on an even playing field. We’re committed to improving quality and outcomes for all children – regardless of background.

That’s why, over the course of 5 years, we’ll be spending over £2.5bn on the 15 hours free childcare entitlement for disadvantaged 2 year olds, and investing in the early years pupil premium, worth £300 per year per eligible child, to support better outcomes for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year-olds.

I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far, but I know there’s more to do. This Government will continue to focus relentlessly on raising standards and supporting the critical work of teachers and early years providers across the country to ensure that the gap continues to close –as quickly as possible.

Turning specifically to the subject of accessible and affordable childcare: for those families who want to go back to work or increase their hours, but the cost of childcare just doesn’t make it viable, we’ve delivered on our promise to double the amount of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds.

Some parents still spend over a third of their take-home pay on childcare. I recently met a father in Wolverhampton who works as a science technician in a school. He told me his wife was able to work part time and go back to study at university as a result of 30 hours, and that he could not overemphasise how much it was helping them financially and personally.

30 hours is empowering low-income families. A lone parent earning around £6,500 a year can qualify, giving these families a real helping hand. And of course, low-income families on Universal Credit can receive up to 85 per cent of childcare costs covered, and Tax-Free Childcare is worth up to £2,000 per child per year and up to £4,000 for disabled children.

The personal testimonies of how 30 hours has been a force for good in families’ lives are backed up by the evaluation of the 30 hours pilot areas, and showed that 78 per cent of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours; whilst nearly a quarter of mothers and one in 10 fathers reported they had been able to increase their working hours.

As a key part of delivering 30 hours we want to make sure that children with special educational needs and disabilities are able to get the best from it, and our evaluation of early delivery showed that local areas which put support in place were able to successfully deliver 30 hours places for children with SEND.

We’ve put in place measures to support local areas – for example, our new Disability Access Fund, worth £615 per year per eligible child, and a requirement that local authorities establish a special educational needs Inclusion Fund.

There’s no doubt that delivering 30 hours, coupled with the implementation of funding reforms this year, has been both ambitious and – I know – challenging. I want to put on record my thanks to the sector who’ve stepped up to the plate, and worked constructively with their local authorities and our delivery partner Childcare Works to help deliver this lifeline for working families.

Moving on from 30 hours, I want to talk about what we’re doing to strengthen our workforce. It is crucial that employers are at the centre of the process for designing and delivering apprenticeships, training and qualifications. That’s why I’m very grateful to those of you who are working with the department, for example, to develop criteria for more robust level 2 and SEND qualifications for early years practitioners. We’ll be consulting on the level 2 criteria shortly.

I’m pleased to say that the level 3 apprenticeship standard, designed to support the effective development of early years staff, is nearing completion. It is also fantastic news that a task and finish group of early years stakeholders is about to begin to consider gender diversity in the sector in more depth. We believe a diverse early years workforce, which better reflects wider society, will help to enhance children’s experiences, and I look forward to discussing this with the panel.

More generally, I want to thank all employers, training providers and sector organisations who are working together – and with us – to further develop this fantastic workforce.

Looking ahead, there are some important steps that we now want to take, working with you.

Research shows that five-year-old children who struggle with language are six times less likely to reach the expected standard in English at age eleven than children who have had good language skills at five, and ten times less likely to achieve the expected level in maths. These are astonishing findings. At the Conservative Party Conference in September, we announced new actions to close the word gap further.

We will provide more funding to help schools strengthen the development of language and literacy in the early years, with a particular focus on reception. As a part of this, we’ll establish a £12m network of English Hubs in the Northern Powerhouse to spread effective teaching practice, with a core focus on early language and literacy as their first priority. We have also opened up the £140m Strategic School Improvement Fund to bids focused on evidence-based ways to improve literacy, language and numeracy during the critical Reception year.

As you know, parents have a vital role to play in their child’s development. Evidence again suggests that aside from maternal education, the home learning environment is the single biggest influence on a child’s vocabulary at age three. That is why we will use £5 million to trial evidence-based home learning environment support programmes in the North of England, focusing on early language and literacy.

We firmly believe that these new actions are decisive steps towards equipping children to reach their potential.

On 14 September, the Department for Education published the Government’s response to the public consultation on primary assessment in England.

The consultation asked how we could make the Early Learning Goals better as a measure of child development and school readiness. It showed that we need to improve the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, for example by revising the Early Learning Goals to make them clearer and more closely aligned with teaching in Key Stage 1.

Thank you to those of you responded to our consultation. Our response as a whole confirms our intention to establish a settled, trusted primary assessment system for the long term.

We’ll be working closely with schools and early years experts as we implement changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

This will take time – to ensure that we get it right – and we expect any changes to be rolled out nationally in the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

The Government response also set out plans for a new baseline to be developed as a statutory assessment, ready for introduction in reception by autumn 2020. The prime focus of the assessment will be on skills which can be reliably assessed and which correlate with attainment in English and mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2, and we’ll continue to discuss the detail of the assessment with a wide range of stakeholders as we develop the assessment.

Finally, I’d like to mention maintained nursery schools. They support some of the most disadvantaged children as well as often providing system leadership – leading on sharing of expertise and developing quality. That’s why, soon after I took on this role, I visited the exemplary Alice Model Nursery School in Tower Hamlets and saw the fantastic work that they’re doing, offering high quality early years education and care.

We’re committed to supporting maintained nursery schools, and have provided local authorities with supplementary funding of around £60 million a year to enable them to maintain their current levels of funding until 2019-20.

This will give them stability while we work closely with the sector and others, including the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes, to develop our plans for the long term. I’m determined to address our shared interests and find the best way forward for maintained nursery schools.

To conclude, I am very clear that the early years is a critical time that influences outcomes for both children and their families. We have achieved a huge amount, but there is still a lot more to do, particularly to close that attainment gap. And we can’t do it without you – without the expertise and experience assembled in this room and in nurseries, childminders’ homes, schools, local authorities and parents throughout the country.

I want to thank you for your help in delivering the changes we have made in recent years, and for your support for the changes to come. Together we can continue to improve the early years system to make sure that every child improves their life chances and has real opportunities to realise their potential. Thank you very much indeed.

Robert Goodwill – 2016 Speech on the Importance of the Maritime Industry

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Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State at the Department for Transport, at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards in Liverpool on 10 March 2016.

Thank you for inviting me to speak here tonight at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, celebrating the fantastic achievements across the maritime industry in the Liverpool City region.

I’ve had a very informative visit here in the Liverpool City region today. It was here 300 years ago that the world’s first enclosed commercial wet dock opened in Liverpool. Its design meant that for the first time in history, ships could load and unload whatever the state of the tide. So where better for me to start my day today than at the Port of Liverpool to visit Liverpool 2….

A place well known for its history of innovation.

Liverpool has long been established as the country’s primary centre for transatlantic movement of goods. The opportunities there continue to develop as US ports and the Panamá Canal itself increase their own capacity for larger box ships.

And I know the ambition is strong also to attract ships from Asia and elsewhere, taking advantage of proximity to north-west markets and distribution centres.

We’re seeing some last minute delays, but this will be a facility well worth the wait and complementing other post-Panamax developments, meaning the UK is superbly placed to facilitate growth in trade with all our international partners.

That in turn feeds into the Northern Powerhouse, and work is well underway on a freight and logistics strategy for the north. We have worked with Transport for the North to make sure that freight through ports such as Liverpool has the prominent billing it needs, despite the understandably strong focus on passenger transport.

I was most excited to see the progress being made at the Maritime Knowledge Hub today. It creates great potential for the growth of the UK’s maritime skills base.

With sea trade expected to grow significantly, the need for a highly skilled workforce has never been greater.

The Hub is a new addition to the UK’s maritime training institutions providing world-class research and respected qualifications.

Next week is National Apprenticeships Week and the maritime sector is leading the way in shaping the future of apprenticeships through the maritime trailblazer.

It is critically important that the maritime industry continues to attract and train the next generation of seafarers and mariners in order to sustain its future. That is why government continues to play its part by investing in the training of UK officers and ratings through our £15 million Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) fund.

Our commitment to maritime is shown through our acceptance of all the recommendations made to government coming out of the Maritime growth study last year.

They won’t necessarily be easy to implement. But of course this a partnership. We have to work closely together – government and industry. And together we will see results.

We have already set up a Ministerial Working Group and have taken action so that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have appointed a commercial director to lead the shipping register and deliver improvements in service.

Things are already moving in the right direction.

The growth study highlighted the size and diversity of the UK’s maritime sector – ports, shipping, business services, training, research, engineering and manufacturing.

The UK has a cluster of maritime industries of global significance and we must consider this interconnected network of businesses as whole.

By ensuring that we, in government, take a strategic approach to all parts of the maritime sector.

And by encouraging greater communication, coordination and cooperative between the many elements of our maritime cluster.

We all understand the importance of trade. Free trade creates jobs; protectionism (although billed as protecting jobs) ultimately destroys them. Free trade operates best with effective and efficient logistics – this is where you guys come in.

I believe the objective of free trade are best served with the UK being part of a reformed EU.

Only, for example, as part of the EU can we land the TTIP deal with the US that would boost transatlantic trade volumes.

We can build on the UK’s strengths, generate sustained growth and compete internationally.

Thank you.

Robert Goodwill – 2016 Speech on Customers with Disabilities

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Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State at the Department for Transport, at the Airport Operators Association annual dinner held on 1 March 2016.

Thank you.

I’m delighted to join you tonight.

And it’s a real pleasure to be back here in the magnificent setting of the Grosvenor House Great Room once again.

Not only one of the largest ballrooms in Europe. But also, one of the most historic.

Over the decades, this room has served as:

An ice rink, in fact it was here where Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II, learned to skate at just 7 years of age.

A mess for US officers during World War II, when General Eisenhower and General Patton were frequent visitors.

And, in the 1960s, the venue for a Beatles concert – and many leading title fights when this was known as the home of British boxing.

This room has also become established in recent years as the home of the AOA Annual Dinner.

And a fitting backdrop for one of the best nights in the aviation calendar.

So I’m very grateful to Ed [Anderson – Chairman] and his team for inviting me this evening.

6 years of change

I’d like to start tonight by taking you back to the 2010 AOA dinner.

The guest speaker that year was Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates.

Tim’s opening words were:

Well, what a torrid, volatile, 18 months this has been.

Multiple banking failures.

Multiple airline failures.

Multiple travel trade failures.

And all in an election year.

What a difference 6 years make.

Britain today is in a completely different place.

Record employment.

A much reduced deficit.

And a strong, growing economy.

Governments like to take credit for big achievements like these.

And I’m not going to change that tradition tonight.

But we’re only partly responsible.

The people who are actually delivering growth.

Creating jobs.

And making the country more prosperous.

Are you.

Wherever you look across Britain, airports are preparing for the future.

Building bigger terminals.

Opening new markets for British business.

Expanding into ventures like business parks.

This is one of the most entrepreneurial sectors of our economy.

Which is why UK airlines have enjoyed sustained growth.

Why passenger numbers at UK airports have reached record levels.

And why I believe this industry is going to flourish further over the next decade.

Hidden disabilities

Great businesses flourish for all sorts of reasons.

But there’s one advantage they all share.

They understand their customers.

One of the challenges for airports is the sheer diversity of the customer base.

That means you have to be increasingly sensitive to passengers’ different needs.

Take people with a disability, for example.

Airports do a good job of helping physically disabled passengers.

But what about people whose disabilities are not immediately noticeable.

Those with hidden disabilities?

For dementia sufferers, air travel can be confusing, and even frightening.

Crowded terminals. Security checks. And fear of flying itself.

All these factors can deter people from travelling.

According to CAA research, as many as 7% of all people could be avoiding air travel because of a hidden disability.

That’s a sobering statistic.

And when the CAA did a review of airports’ and airlines’ current arrangements, they found a wide variation in standards and practices.

Some airports were described as ‘significantly under-prepared’ for this type of traveller.

However, there were some impressive examples of good practice too.

At Gatwick, for instance, more than 80% of front line staff have received Dementia Champions and Dementia Friends training.

On top of this, the airport’s introduced its own NVQ Level 2 Certificate in dementia care.

Manchester Airport has a range of measures to help autistic children.

Including a downloadable autistic awareness pack on its website which provides a virtual journey through the airport.

Recently I met with members of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Taskforce.

They told me about how they’ve been working with the aviation industry on this issue.

I was particularly impressed by the feedback they received from someone who cares for a dementia patient.

Who praised the outstanding door-to-door service they’d received from EasyJet on a recent trip.

So there’s lots of great work going on.

We just need to see more of it across the industry.

So the CAA is now working with the taskforce and other disability organisations to develop tailored guidance for the industry.

The airports guidance is expected to be launched in the summer.

This is a great opportunity for the industry to move forward as a whole.

First – to ensure every airport and airline is meeting minimum EC standards of compliance.

But then to deliver over and above.

There is real scope here for airports to learn from each other.

And follow the lead of Gatwick and Manchester.

Which I know some of you are already doing.

But this isn’t about ‘one size fits all.’

Each airport will find its own solutions.

So I urge you all to consult with dementia passengers and organisations.

To really understand and respond to their needs.

So more people who currently avoid air travel can enjoy the huge benefits of flying that the rest of us take for granted.

South-east runway

I understand why many in the industry were disappointed that we delayed the decision on location of the additional runway we need in the south-east.

But opponents of expansion.

Who hailed the delay as some sort of victory.

Could not have been more wrong.

The decision was delayed because it was the right thing to do.

The responsible thing to do.

To make sure we’re fully prepared.

So we know we will get the job finished.

You understand better than most.

That Britain’s infrastructure-averse culture.

Has a history of derailing transport schemes.

This government is changing that culture.

But to risk any chance of failure at this stage would be unacceptable.

It’s why we’ve been so thorough with HS2, the new high speed railway.

Six years of intense planning.

The biggest consultation in government history.

Building the case, town by town, region by region.

Making sure HS2 is the very best it can be.

And that’s what we’re doing with aviation capacity.

Sir Howard Davies’ report gave us a wealth of data and analysis but you can never have too much evidence, particularly in the light of our emerging understanding of air quality issues and diesel cars.

We’re using this time to make the case for new capacity even more watertight.

Additional work to get the best possible outcome.

So we can deliver it by 2030.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, aviation is one of the UK’s success stories.

And we need that success to continue.

Alongside the decision on south-east capacity, there are a host of other important issues we are continuing to work on.

For example, we’re working with the industry to improve airport access.

Including up to £1.75 billion of investment in roads around Gatwick, Manchester, East Midlands, Birmingham, Heathrow and Stansted.

We’re making improvements to airport rail links – from Crossrail to HS2 to the Northern Hub.

We’re working to develop a skilled aviation workforce.

Support regional connectivity.

Manage airspace.

And reduce climate change, noise and other local environmental impacts.

I know that the issue of Air Passenger Duty (APD) is never far from your hearts.

Today is when the exemption in APD for under-16 year olds comes into effect.

Which will save a family with two children £142 on a typical holiday to Florida.

These are all national issues.

And they deserve a national conversation.

And it goes without saying that airports need to be at the heart of that conversation.

Since the 2013 Aviation policy framework the industry has moved on.

And Britain has moved on.

So we will be asking you this year to help us design the next Framework.

We want you to tell us about the past 3 years.

What have we done that’s helped you?

What haven’t we done to help you?

And how can we work together more effectively?

The AOA has always been very clear about where it agrees and disagrees with government.

I welcome that.

Just as I welcome all the feedback I get when I visit airports around the UK.

It’s a privilege for me to work with you as Aviation Minister.

And I very much value the close dialogue I have with the AOA.

It works, above all, because we share the same fundamental aspiration.

To support a growing airports industry.

That delivers for customers.

That delivers growth and jobs.

And that delivers for Britain.

Thank you.

Robert Goodwill – 2016 Speech at Intertek

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Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, at Intertek in Milton Keynes on 14 January 2016.

It’s a real honour to open Intertek’s new testing facility today.

And I am really pleased that Intertek will be using its expertise in a new field.

The UK automotive industry is a genuine economic success story.

Last year Britain built 1.5 million cars.

One and a quarter million of which we exported to over a hundred different countries.

Almost 800,000 people are employed in an industry that in 2013 turned over £64 billion.

In 2014, a single plant – Nissan in Sunderland – made more cars than the whole of Italy.

That makes you feel proud.

And it means Britain’s transport manufacturing sector has passed its pre-recession peak and continues to grow.

But that success is dependent on British-made cars being not just reliable, safe, clean and efficient, but verifiably so.

The effect that cars have on our air quality has been in the news a lot recently.

That focus won’t go away.

Poor air is a real health danger in many towns and cities and CO2 standards for new cars are continually being tightened.

Meanwhile, car manufacturers are facing global competition, unpredictable commodity prices and exchange rates, and ever-increasing consumer expectations.

I have no doubt that the UK’s automotive sector will rise to these challenges, but only if research and development keep pace.

And that’s where Intertek’s fantastic new facility comes in.

It’s a vital addition to the UK’s testing capability, and it means we can test more of our cars here, in the UK, rather than sending them abroad.

That’s convenient for manufacturers, and it keeps the commercial advantage here, too.

We need to develop our expertise in testing electric vehicles, because by 2050 we want virtually every car on the road to be an ultra low emission vehicle.

To help us achieve our target, the government is spending over £600 million to support the ultra low emission vehicle market.

We have funded more than 50,000 Plug-in Car and Van Grants to help motorists buy ultra low emission vehicles.

We have invested in refuelling infrastructure, including charging points for electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

We are running the Go Ultra Low communications campaign, supporting cleaner buses and taxis and working with Innovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre to develop new technology.

This investment will ensure that the low emission vehicles of the future are designed, developed and tested here in the UK.

So Intertek’s investment makes perfect sense.

You are helping us on the way to low emission vehicles being increasingly commonplace on our roads, offering drivers all the convenience of internal combustion engine vehicles, but with cheaper running costs and cleaner, quieter engines.

It means that we have come a long way in 120 years. On the 7th and 8th of May we will celebrate the 120th anniversary of the first horseless carriage exhibition, with a recreation of the event at Imperial College.

I hope to see some of you there.

But I would like to end my remarks by saying thank you.

Thank you for your vote of confidence in the UK’s car manufacturing sector.

And thank you for your commitment to the future of motoring.

Your work here helps make the UK a global leader in the design, production and testing of cutting-edge vehicles, and will do nothing less than revolutionise personal transport.

Thank you.

Robert Goodwill – 2016 Speech on Maritime Growth

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Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, at the London Boat Show on 13 January 2016.

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to address the Royal Yachting Association at the Boat Show today.

The Royal Yachting Association is renowned the world over for its regard for maritime safety and its determination to maintain seafaring standards, while this year’s boat show has the distinction of being the third occasion in 4 months that the eyes of the maritime world have been on London.

Last September saw the second ever London International Shipping Week.

It was a landmark event for the shipping industry, for the UK, and for every one of the dozens of maritime nations that participated.

London International Shipping Week was also the week that Lord Mountevans’s seminal Maritime growth study was published.

It was the first comprehensive review of UK’s maritime sector in 20 years.

And I know the association and many others here made important contributions to the maritime growth study, so this is a great opportunity to give you an update.

One thing the maritime growth study made very clear was the importance of the marine and maritime sectors to the UK.

They directly contribute at least £11 billion a year to the economy, while supporting over 113,000 jobs and six and a half thousand businesses.

Nonetheless, the study concluded that there is still much we can achieve.

World sea trade is expected to double by the year 2030, and maritime centres in Europe and the Far East are undergoing rapid growth as they seek to emulate our historic success.

So the government and the maritime industry must work together to strengthen the UK’s position in an ever-more-competitive global market.

With that in mind, on 16 December 2015 I published the government’s formal response to the maritime growth study.

We agreed to accept its findings, and I am pleased to report today some of the changes that are now underway.

First, we formed, and in November held the first meeting of, a new Ministerial Working Group for Maritime Growth.

The membership comprises ministers from across government.

Several industry invitees also attended the meeting, including representatives from Maritime UK and the Marine Industries Leadership Council.

We discussed how to get more investment in our maritime industries, how to increase our exports, and how to seize the opportunities presented by apprenticeships.

Next, the government is to review the numbers of British seafarers and the skills our country needs to secure maritime growth.

If necessary, we will look at the levels of support for maritime training funding to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

And we are also responding to Lord Mountevans’s recommendations concerning the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and, in particular, its UK Ship Register.

It’s great that, in tonnage terms, the register has had a year of modest growth.

But we want that trend to continue.

So we have appointed Simon Barham to be the MCA’s new director of the UK Ship Register.

Simon will be primarily focused on attracting owners of quality ships to sign up to the UK Flag and working to secure the long-term commercial success of the UK Ship Register. He brings 40 years of maritime experience to the task from a varied career in the industry.

Meanwhile, the MCA is reforming its survey and inspection function to make it more flexible, efficient and customer-focused.

In the longer-term, we will look to build on these changes and continue to make the MCA, and the services it provides, more responsive and commercially focused.

We are exploring what more can be done to ensure that the ship register has the flexibility and capability to compete with the best in the world – making full use of the findings of the maritime growth study and UK Ship Register Advisory Panel.

And we agree with Lord Mountevans that the MCA would benefit from the additional leadership and guidance that could be provided by a non-executive chair, so we are going to recruit someone who can bring the necessary commercial experience to continue these reforms and support the work of MCA.

Altogether there’s a lot happening in response to the maritime growth study.

But the recreational side of the maritime industry is just as important to the UK economy as the more directly commercial side.

The UK has cutting-edge expertise in the design and manufacture of sailing yachts, superyachts, and high-end powerboats.

Anyone requiring further evidence of this need only take a look around this year’s show.

The government is clear that growth in these industries is part-and-parcel of the growth we want to see in the whole maritime sector.

That is why we are so grateful to the association for contributing to the maritime growth study, and for how it has continued to contribute now we are implementing the recommendations.

So in conclusion, I would like to say thank you to the Royal Yachting Association for your support for what we are trying to achieve for the sector.

Thank you for another year of working to support seafarers, sportsmen and women and recreational sailing throughout the UK and beyond.

And thank you for hosting today’s reception.

I trust that 2016 will be another year of success for the association and all its members — whether in sport or in commerce.

Thank you.

Robert Goodwill – 2015 Speech on Prestwick Search and Rescue

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Below is the text of the speech made by Robert Goodwill, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, on 17 December 2015.

Thank you for inviting me to lead celebrations for the launch of the UK’s search and rescue helicopter service here in Prestwick.

Today (18 December 2015) we mark a historic occasion; the passing of search and rescue operations from the British military to Bristow Helicopters Ltd, operating on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

I would like to start by paying tribute to the Royal Navy’s search and rescue unit at HMS Gannet.

From 1 January, the unit will stand down responsibility for search and rescue duties and will hand that responsibility over to the Bristow crew here at Prestwick.

The UK government is very grateful for the lifesaving work you have done since HMS Gannett was established here in Prestwick in 1971, and will continue to do until the end of the year.

It cannot be overstated how much we all appreciate the vital work of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter crews and engineers.

For over 60 years, you have worked around the clock in all weathers to rescue tens of thousands of people, and in doing so have saved many lives.

You have set the bar for search and rescue very high indeed.

It now falls to Bristow to continue to clear that high bar.

And after the response to the recent flooding, when new Bristow aircraft from Caernarfon and Humberside joined forces with the Sea King from HMS Gannet to rescue people in danger, I am confident that Bristow will do their search and rescue forerunners very proud.

Of course, Bristow has been rendering search and rescue services to Her Majesty’s Government for over 30 years.

And that service will continue here in Prestwick and in 9 other places around the UK.

Your job is the single-minded pursuit of saving lives.

You will work with the best technology.

The best aircraft.

And the finest, most well-trained, and dedicated people the world of search and rescue has to offer.

Many people here today will be based at this facility and have joined from other parts of Bristow’s SAR operations.

Others have taken the decision to leave behind their military careers to stay with search and rescue.

And still others are volunteers.

I am very proud to speak on behalf of the whole of Her Majesty’s government when I express our gratitude for the daring and endeavour of those who go out in all weathers, night or day, at a moment’s notice, to bring people in danger safely back to dry land and their homes and families, or indeed to, sadly, have to recover the bodies of those lost at sea.

Of course, the crews could not do their jobs but for the highly-skilled engineers and support staff also here today.

I know that everyone will carry out their jobs with the utmost professionalism and commitment to their task.

And in doing so, you will be working with some magnificent machines.

As minister responsible for Her Majesty’s Coastguard, I am delighted to see these wonderful Sikorsky aircraft bearing HM Coastguard livery.

Sikorsky has provided search and rescue helicopters for coastguard operations since 1983, starting with the Sikorsky S61s which operated from the coastguard base in Shetland.

Over 20 state-of-the-art aircraft like the ones you see here today are already operating throughout the UK as part of our new UK search and rescue helicopter service, operated and maintained by 200 pilots, technical crew, and engineers.

And they are just one example of the state-of-the-art search and rescue technologies that will be available at Prestwick and across the UK.

The UK government has put £2 billion into our search and rescue services and over £70 million of that has been spent here in Prestwick.

It’s a great example of where the UK government is co-ordinating vital work across the whole country.

So I know this facility will give you the very best chance of succeeding in your missions.

And I wish you many, many successful missions in the years ahead.

So thank you for the work you do.

Thank you for serving our country.

And thank you, ahead of time, for all the lives you will save from Prestwick and the 9 other bases across the UK.