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

I am grateful that my right hon. Friend has been called as the final Member to ask a question, if that is still the case, on the statement. It is appropriate that he should be. In my first week in this role, I spoke at the defence economics conference, and he presented me with a copy of his paper, which has been incredibly helpful for me, as it has been for the MOD, not only in introducing the defence prosperity programme in March 2019 but in laying some of the groundwork for the DSIS today. I am sure that as he reads it he will recognise a lot of the themes that emerge.

Part of that is, indeed, the role of the joint economic data hub, which has already reached its initial operating capacity, and it is conducting a full survey of defence employment. It will reach full operating capability by the end of the year. In doing so, it feeds into our analysis critical information about jobs, regional growth, prosperity and future development. It is really important, and it lies at the heart of what we are doing with DSIS—growing the prosperity of our United Kingdom while at the same time ensuring that we have the kit and equipment that our people need. I thank my right hon. Friend for the work that he has conducted, which he continues to conduct, in defence. It was a valuable contribution, and it will help us to make certain that DSIS is the great success that it deserves to be in supporting our brilliant defence manufacturers and armed forces.