National Shipbuilding Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 10th March 2022.

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Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:42 pm, 10th March 2022

First, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman will acknowledge, this is a UK-wide endeavour. There are great assets and skills in Scotland, and I am delighted that this week, I think, we have signed a lease to ensure that there is space in Edinburgh for part of the National Shipbuilding Office to be based there. This is a national endeavour, delivering for the whole of the UK. He is right that £4 billion is a lot of money and we want it to go further by winning export orders.

The hon. Gentleman is right that the Type 26 exports to Canada and Australia are a solid bit of progress. It is right to say that they will support thousands of jobs and design is incredibly important, as are many of the subsystems often used by overseas purchasers, even as they do a lot of work on the frigates themselves. We will learn from them as well as their learning from us.

On Type 31 and export, there has been great news: first the work with Indonesia and secondly the down selection last Friday by the Polish navy of Type 31 or Arrowhead. That is an extremely important step forward and I am very proud to have been part of it. I spoke to my Polish opposite number on that and other topics this morning. It would be great if we could also sell Type 31 to countries that do not have the capacity to build themselves, and do that work in Rosyth or elsewhere. That is a grand ambition. However, I am delighted that our design, our subsystems and our skills are being recognised in the export orders we are already winning.