To prevent the steel industry facing a new cliff edge at the end of the Brexit transition period, I called on the Government to amend the political declaration on the future relationship to secure a commitment to the Emissions Trading System.

Stephen Kinnock: The term “cliff edge” is probably overused, but there is no doubt that British Steel was taken to the cliff edge on this one, with incredibly last-minute deals and negotiations. What steps will be taken to ensure that lessons are learned from this experience? Could the political declaration on the future relationship be amended to secure a commitment to the ETS? If not, we will end up at another cliff edge at the end of the transition period.

Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman talks about taking us to the cliff edge. It is a legal responsibility on the part of each emitter to comply with its requirements to surrender allowances. Notice was given, and as some of my hon. Friends pointed out, every other company ​acted on that. We were presented late in the day with a choice I described as unenviable. We responded to that pragmatically, and I detect in the hon. Gentleman’s tone a recognition that this is the right step. To avoid repetition of this situation, the advice from the company and the industry is clear: the House needs to come together, long before 31 October, and agree a withdrawal agreement that would result automatically in the ability to release allowances, not only for this year but for the following year too.

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