John Stevenson: What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the forthcoming Budget.
Alister Jack: I have regular discussions with all my Cabinet colleagues on issues important to Scotland’s economy, including the forthcoming Budget in March. The Government will deliver a Budget for Scotland’s businesses and Scotland’s people. We will set out ambitious plans to unleash Britain’s potential, and level up across the nations and regions of the UK.
John Stevenson: Given the close economic relationship between the south of Scotland and the north of England, particularly within the borderlands region, will the Minister make representations to the Chancellor on and give his support to a freeport at the Carlisle Lake District airport?
Alister Jack: I welcome the recent freeports announcement, and I have no doubt that freeports will unleash the potential of our proud historic ports, boosting and regenerating communities across the UK. I and other Ministers on the Front Bench—the Chancellor is here—have heard my hon. Friend’s early representations on behalf of his airport and his area. Not only is he a great champion for the borderlands, but he is a great champion for the Carlisle Lake District airport.