Results 1–20 of 4409 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Michael Fallon

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I am grateful to the hon. Lady—I think that that was a welcome for the strategy, even though she had some detailed questions. Let me try to answer the, I think, seven of them. First, Sir John Parker did report at the end of last November and we initially hoped to publish the strategy in early summer. The hon. Lady asked why it had been delayed. I think I recall a general election around...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: The light, general-purpose frigate is specifically designed to avoid that fault, which, as my right hon. Friend said, has plagued previous programmes. My right hon. Friend took us back to the 1970s. Perhaps only he and I now remember them and what happened then. I note his comments about the number of ships. I gently say that today’s ships are of course much more powerful than those...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: First, let me make it very clear that it ill behoves members of the Scottish National party to pose as friends of the Clyde when they would decommission our nuclear submarines, which would halt work on the Clyde on the frigates that would protect those submarines. Secondly, the hon. Gentleman is wrong about the frigate factory. There is a frigate factory on the Clyde, namely the Govan and...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: We will indeed be able to set our own procurement rules, free of some of the constraints that have resulted from our membership of the European Union. It is true that we need to improve the way we have procured our naval vessels in the past, and to start sending new-build ships out across the world again. Many other navies in the world are looking for lighter frigates, offshore patrol vessels...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I think that my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis), the Chairman of the Select Committee, was on better ground when he drew attention to the problems we had in the past when the design was constantly tinkered with, and indeed added to, and the ships that were planned became heavier and heavier and more expensive and late. There have been significant delays in the...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his election to the Select Committee; I look forward to discussing these matters when I am next summoned to appear before the Committee. I also thank him for the work that he has done, since leaving the Department, on the reserves, and the need for us to improve the offer that we make to them. We are studying that report. I will certainly consider my...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. It is true that the monopoly that the Clyde has enjoyed for so long in warship building is ending, but, equally, the Clyde yards—we are talking not just about BAE Systems; there is the Ferguson yard as well—are perfectly free to compete for this work, in addition to the work on the heavy frigates that they are already building. I, too, am...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: Absolutely. As I have said, the Clyde already has 20 years’ worth of guaranteed work on the eight heavier anti-submarine frigates. When I was on the Clyde in July to cut steel on the first, HMS Glasgow, there was a unanimous welcome from the workforce for the commitment that the Government are following through in awarding that contract. Today, however, we are doing more than that, in...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I certainly hope that Harland and Wolff will participate in this competition and rise to the challenge. We retain an open mind as to what the final winning solution is likely to be. We have learned a lot from the block build construction of the aircraft carriers, but equally it might well be the case that one particular yard comes up with the best proposal, or that that comes from a...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: The revival of naval shipbuilding, particularly in the English yards, will produce huge opportunities for apprentices to embark on highly valued skilled engineering careers. Indeed, in Scotland—I turn again to the opportunity here for Scotland—when I was at the Govan frigate factory on the Clyde, cutting steel on HMS Glasgow, I was able to point out to the workforce that the...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: First, in respect of the performance of standing tasks within NATO, I made it clear that they will principally be undertaken by the Type 26 anti-submarine frigates and Type 45 destroyers, releasing the Type 31s for other duties around the world where we need to project our presence and where we can work more closely with allies outside the NATO context. On exports, I hope that the hon....

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: As I have said, we will take a very close interest in the percentage of steel used in each of the bids—we will be watching that extremely closely. I remind the House that some specialist steels that are not produced in this country are needed for the hulls of our warships, but we will be looking to those who submit their bids to demonstrate just how much British steel they will use, as...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: To add to the answer I gave earlier, yes, the Royal Navy, like the Air Force and to some extent the Army, is increasingly competing with the rest of the economy for engineers, IT specialists and technicians of all kinds. These are exactly the jobs that are in such demand elsewhere across the economy. We have a growing economy now and, as I have said, very low unemployment, so this is not...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I will certainly bear that in mind, although if my hon. Friend has waited since 1746, perhaps he can wait a little longer. By the way, I am still waiting for any expression of gratitude—I know that does not come easily to those on the Scottish nationalist Benches—for choosing the name HMS Glasgow for the very first of these anti-submarine frigates, paying tribute to the previous...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s welcome. A&P has already made a contribution to the construction of the carrier and it is contributing to the construction of the Astute class submarines. I very much hope that it will be involved in the competition. This is an opportunity for the Tyne, which was previously shut out when the monopoly was granted in favour of BAE Systems in...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: My hon. Friend puts his finger on it. This design has to be adaptable and flexible. As international supply chains are now lengthening, I hope that the yards that enter this competition will consult not only with other yards across Europe, but with other navies that are looking to procure this type of frigate, so that they ensure that they design a platform that is sufficiently adaptable and...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I certainly hope that it was accidental. I, too, would like to put on record my tribute to the women who have served in that branch of the Royal Navy for more than 100 years. Now, of course, our women are able to enter more and more roles in the Royal Navy. I will certainly check whether that centenary is being appropriately marked, and if we can pick up on any of the hon. Lady’s...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: Yes, and we want to make it easier for more SMEs to participate in the supply chains of the major yards. Portsmouth and the surrounding area are now enjoying the challenge of completing the final fitting out of the two carriers and making sure that they are properly maintained and serviced, but there may well be further opportunities in the Havant area. I remember that the sector report that...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: The hon. Gentleman is doing his best to turn sunshine into a grievance. Govan will build eight enormous frigates over 20 years. That is a frigate factory by any definition, and I hope that he is clear about the sheer weight of work that Govan and Scotstoun are now going to enjoy. So far as investment in the yard itself is concerned, yes, part of the £3.7 billion that I announced when I...

National Shipbuilding Strategy (6 Sep 2017)

Michael Fallon: I am delighted that my hon. Friend shares my ambition for the Royal Navy. I want it to be bigger and stronger, and to have the ships that it needs so that it can protect our trade routes, promote our prosperity and contribute to security on each of the seven seas. That is our ambition as a Government, and I am going to do everything I can to drive that forward with the new ships and...


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