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Fallon 'hopes' there will be no further defence cuts

The new defence secretary said he "hoped" there would not be further cuts to his department's budget and praised his predecessor for "taking some very tough decisions" in order to get funding "under control".

Michael Fallon told Good Morning Britain the Ministry of Defence was able to "invest in the future" because Philip Hammond - the new Foreign Secretary - had "spent nearly four years" working on the department's budget.

Read: New faces and big movers in the Cabinet reshuffle

Minister: Fracking 'only allowed if absolutely safe'

business secretary
There is a lot more shale gas under Britain's surface than previously thought, Michael Fallon said. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Total's plans to explore Britain for shale gas is "extremely important" as it shows "one of the world's Big Five oil companies" sees a lot of opportunity in the UK, according to a business minister.

Read more: Greenpeace slam Total plans for fracking in the UK

Michael Fallon told Daybreak any go-ahead for fracking in Britain would be "regulated properly" and "would only be allowed if absolutely safe".

He continued: "The announcement by Total this morning is extremely important. It shows that one of the world's Big Five oil companies now sees the opportunity to explore for shale gas here.

"We know now there is a lot more shale gas down there than previously thought and there is a huge opportunity to go down there and get it."

Read more: Tax boost for 'fracking' councils

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Business minister: Fracking to help 'salvage economy'

Fracking could "salvage" the UK economy from "crippling stagnation" and create thousands of jobs, business minister Michael Fallon said. Writing in the Sun on Sunday, he said:

In the Seventies, North Sea oil helped salvage our economy from crippling stagnation.

We have a similar chance to create tens of thousands of jobs and energy security.

A mile and more beneath us lies deposits of gas-bearing shale rock with the potential to guarantee energy supplies in an increasingly uncertain and competitive world.

If our boldness is matched by others in Europe, it could also drive down the cost of power for hard-working families and businesses.

– Business minister Michael Fallon

Fracking company has 'necessary permits' for tests

Energy minister Michael Fallon said the Government would only allow exploratory drilling for oil and gas if it is "being done properly and the environment is being fully protected".

He added that Cuadrilla, the company which is carrying out exploratory drilling activities in West Sussex, had the necessary permits from the Environment Agency.

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