COMMENT: Keeping our shipbuilding in the UK is a key move

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WITHIN a fortnight we will have a new occupant of Number 10 Downing Street.

And whether it is Jeremy Hunt, or as seems more likely at the time of writing, Boris Johnson, they are both talking up a hardening of our country’s position when it comes to Brexit.

More than three years after the EU referendum, there is one thing most people could agree on whether they voted to leave or remain – as time has dragged on, the negotiations have become increasingly painful to witness.

With attitudes entrenched on both sides, the true impact of Brexit on our economy is the great unknown.

It is no surprise, therefore, to see Penny Mordaunt lobbying hard to safeguard Britain’s shipbuilding industry.

With both her Portsmouth North MP and secretary of state defence hats on, this is the kind of fight people around here will want to see Ms Mordaunt engaging in.

She has written to the Department for Exiting the European Union demanding Britain regains its sovereign right to build all vessels in the UK without having to go to international tender.

With a £1bn contract for new navy support ships currently up for grabs, few would be happy seeing that many go to a European shipyard as we leave the EU.

It’s hardly a secret that our shipbuilding industry has received plenty of knocks down the decades.

As Ms Mordaunt puts it: ‘It will give confidence to the UK industry to grow and become more competitive.’

Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, it seems more and more likely that we will finally be out this side of Christmas. And all of our industries will need to be able to stake their claim in the global marketplace like never before.

A boost from this side of the fence would be no bad thing.