Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 23rd March 2021.

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Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 12:49 pm, 23rd March 2021

I am delighted to see Martin Docherty-Hughes wearing a Royal Engineers tie.

It is fantastic to hear this commitment to shipbuilding. In my experience in the MOD, the Navy would ask for five ships, centre would say, “Four should be enough. Here’s three, we’re going buy two and we’ll only service one.” Very quickly, we would be reduced to less than had been promised in the initial strategy. With the pivot to Asia we have been promised and the commitment to base out of Singapore, can my hon. Friend assure me that not only will we have the purchasing capability, but we will have the servicing capability that makes such a difference to the actual deployment of ships? As we know, we have had too many tied up for too long, when we need them to be out doing exactly what we pay them for.