£1.5bn Royal Navy fleet support vessels contracts should stay in Britain, says Portsmouth MP
AN MP has said fleet support ships should be built in Britain.
Labour Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, a shadow defence minister, reacted to reports the £1.5bn Fleet Solid Support Ship programme could be put out to tender to foreign firms.
He said: ‘Building British not only helps us maintain our sovereign capability and strengthens national security, it sustains jobs and could be the winning ticket for safeguarding the future of our shipbuilders for years to come.
‘I know from speaking to British companies that they are ready and willing to build in the UK, the question is, why are ministers selling Britain short and forcing two UK bidders to pitch against foreign firms?
‘I will continue to work as shadow armed forces minister to put pressure on ministers to back Britain and ensure their ill-thought out strategy does not hinder sovereign capability, national security and the future of British defence industry.’
Warships must be built in Britain but government can put contracts for support vessels out to tender abroad.
The bidding process for the contract was suspended last year by defence secretary Ben Wallace when he branded it ‘delinquent’.
The issue has come to the fore ahead of the integrated review into defence and security.
Unions want the contracts to stay in Britain.
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