Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:49 pm, 23rd March 2021

On OEMs, my hon. Friend is absolutely right to draw attention to the fine international companies that choose to base themselves here. They make a real contribution to our economy and to our defence sector in the UK. We will continue to be uniquely open to the companies of friends and allies overseas choosing to locate, build and manufacture here in the UK, as well as to apply research and technology and development, and I absolutely thank them for it. He mentioned Boeing. That is one example of a company that has been assiduous in making opportunities available to UK SMEs. It sees it as a great way of tapping into more skills and increasing its resilience. I welcome what it and many others do in terms of making certain that there are opportunities for UK smaller companies as part of their supply chain.

There are two things that we can do. The first is that we will see an increase in direct company awards to smaller companies, but that is because of the nature of how defence is changing. As we become more digital, more cyber, there are many smaller companies that can produce the goods in these areas and it becomes a less capital-intensive business. The second thing is that, through the social value part of the tender process, we will be able to be more descriptive as to what we are expecting to see from companies. In that respect, I very much welcome the fact that, on Boxer, we expect to see 60% of all that supply chain flowing through from UK companies.