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The noble Lords, Lord De Mauley and Lord Lee, made a very important point about an issue that is very close to our heart: ensuring that the ECGD in no way, shape or form betrays any of the current business principles relating to the environment, corruption and efficacy. They are all included.

I am pleased to assure noble Lords, as I was asked to, that the WWF’s concerns are unfounded, and I repeat the assurance made by my honourable friend the Economic Secretary during the Bill’s passage in another place that the ECGD’s role, and the application of its business principles, will not be changed by this amendment.

On capital goods exports, the ECGD will continue to apply international OECD agreements on bribery and corruption, environmental impacts and sustainable lending to these exports. If the application of the

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business principles is to be changed, the business principles themselves state that the ECGD must consult. The ECGD is carrying out such a consultation on the new letters of credit scheme, which I have already discussed.

I hope that I have answered most of the questions asked by noble Lords, but if I have omitted to answer any I will be happy to write to them.

Lord Selsdon: My Lords, I had rather hoped that I would hear something about exports; I declare an interest as a former president of the British Exporters Association. I have always remembered that the ECGD was established by Winston Churchill to encourage our visible exports. Will the Minister say whether we still export visibles, what our balance of payments surplus or deficit on visibles will be this year, and what it was last year? Was my estimate of a £100 billion deficit right?

Baroness Vadera: My Lords, indeed we do export visibles. The noble Lord will not be surprised to hear that manufacturing, a sector that has not traditionally been supported by the Opposition, is one of our biggest exporters. It is a significant proportion of our exports, and exports are a significant proportion of manufacturing output. I do not have to hand the balance of payments figures for last year. I believe that we have them in the Budget book, and I will be very happy to confirm in writing the figures, which are of course publicly available.

Bill read a second time.

House adjourned at 7.02 pm.

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