BAE Systems

Part of Backbench Business — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:13 pm on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 2:13 pm, 24th November 2011

Absolutely. None of us can explain how in just six weeks the whole world was turned on its head. We have sat through BAE presentations and been shown projections going years into the future—although oddly the line always ends about 2016 and we never get to see the line beyond. Despite these predictions, however, in six weeks the world was turned on its head. Members and people watching can read into that what they wish.

We have talked about the legacy issues. It is unacceptable for BAE to think that its role is simply to secure work for the Brough workers elsewhere in the country. Constituents of mine who work at BAE Systems, including the former mayor of Goole, do not want to leave the local area or uproot themselves from their families; they want to stay working in east Yorkshire. After all, along with north Lincolnshire, it is the best part of the country to live in—so why would they wish to leave? They want to remain on that site.

I say to BAE—I hope that the Minister will listen to this message and take it forward—that it has a duty to do everything in its power, even if it hits it in the pocket, to ensure that manufacturing remains on that site, if not through the production of Hawk and other aircraft, through securing other companies and third parties on the site. It cannot walk away from Brough. It cannot say, “Well, we’ve done everything we want to do. We’ll help to find them jobs.” It has a duty to secure that site, and we, as local Members of Parliament—and, I hope, with the support of the Government—will do everything that we can to ensure just that.