Shipbuilding Contracts: Scottish Yards

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th July 2018.

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Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The national shipbuilding strategy seeks the long-term growth of UK shipbuilding, including Scottish yards. The Ministry of Defence works closely with industry and the Department for International Trade on export campaigns for platforms, sub-systems and support. We seek to build on our recent success in the Australian SEA 5000 competition—for example, through our Type 31e frigate programme, which considers exports from the outset.

Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales)

Part of BAE Systems’s bid to win the order to build ships for the Australian navy was the promise that workers on the Clyde would have already ironed out any problems with the ships because they were being built for the Royal Navy first. Is it not the case that the expertise and craft of Clyde ship workers allow BAE to make huge profits by building those ships in Adelaide, but there will be no benefit for the Scottish yards at all? Is it not the case that Scotland’s shipbuilders have been sold down the river?

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

With supporters such as the hon. Lady, I shudder about the future of the Scottish shipbuilding sector. The yards on the Clyde will benefit immensely from this vote of confidence in their design capability. The supply chain will benefit immensely from opportunities that come from this contract, and other export opportunities are available for both the Type 26 and Type 31, which will be built in the United Kingdom. She speaks ill of her own constituency in Scotland with such a negative attitude.