BAE Systems (Samlesbury)

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th March 2010.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley 2:30 pm, 29th March 2010

When he next intends to visit BAE Systems in Samlesbury.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Secretary of State for Defence

I have no plans to visit BAE Systems in Samlesbury; the Minister with responsibility for defence equipment and support, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend Mr. Davies, did so on 24 February 2010.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

I am glad to hear that. I am sure that while the Minister was there, he would have seen more than 5,000 people working in one of the top-class work forces of the world. Given that BAE Systems in Samlesbury works as a magnet for more than 6,500 other jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises, does the Secretary of State agree that when we are procuring, we ought to procure from the very best, which happens to be in the United Kingdom?

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Secretary of State for Defence

Often that is so, and the north-west region, never mind the hon. Gentleman's constituency, plays an important part in our defence capability. We need to ensure that we maintain such capability in vital areas. If we are going to provide capability for our armed forces in the long term, we cannot afford to take short-term and short-sighted decisions. Sometimes we need to ensure that industrial capability remains in place, and that is what the defence industrial strategy is designed to do-I hope that the hon. Gentleman supports it.

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