Results 1–20 of 152 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Ruth Smeeth

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Topical Questions (4 Dec 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: Bus users in the Potteries have been hit by a double whammy of fare increases and journey cuts. Although my constituents might appreciate the irony of two lots of bad bus news arriving at once, they certainly do not appreciate the inconvenience or the impact on their jobs. Many of those cuts could be avoided if Stoke-on-Trent City Council was prepared properly to subsidise public transport....

Industrial Strategy (27 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: The Secretary of State has already praised the wonderful ceramics industry, which has its home in Stoke-on-Trent, and the work done by the British Ceramic Confederation for the past two years on developing an industrial strategy. It is great to see a photo of my sector on page 224 of the White Paper, but we really need a strategy for Stoke-on-Trent, so will the Secretary of State meet me and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Hawk Aircraft: Overseas Promotion (27 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: There are 21 RAF officers sitting in the Gallery today who are due to be deployed on Op Shader in the new year. I am sure that the whole House wishes them well in their future deployment. Ten days ago, we had a debate in this Chamber on a new defence industrial strategy. Given the jobs that are still vulnerable at Brough and the Qatar order that we still do not have the detail on, can we just...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: First, I thank all right hon. Members and hon. Members for contributing to this broadly consensual but vital debate. It has been incredibly disappointing not to have confirmation from the Minister that there will not be cuts to our amphibious capability. It is the day before the Budget and it would have been incredibly helpful for all of us if we could have gone forward to tomorrow knowing...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: We don’t!

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I beg to move, That this House has considered UK amphibious capability. It is genuinely a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray. Let us be clear why we are here today. In recent months, there has been simply too much speculation on the future of our amphibious capabilities, from reports of staggering cuts to the numerical strength of our Royal Marines to the apparent proposed...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I could not agree more. At this point, we need to agree what capabilities we need, and then what the budget should be—not the other way around. That is what the former Secretary of State said to us, and that is what we need to do.

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: We need to be very clear about how big the hole is in the equipment budget. That has not happened yet in terms of invest to save, what efficiencies will be made and how we are going to pay for things. However, that is not an excuse to cut the numbers in our military or to get rid of current capabilities and platforms. It would be a matter of grave concern and a genuine national security risk...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I could not agree more. Having visited our Royal Marines in the Arctic to observe their training, I know how important that is for not only our own capabilities but the partnerships we build with other marines from our allies. It has been suggested that the role of HMS Bulwark and Albion could be replaced by our two aircraft carriers or a cheaper Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service offering, but...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: My hon. Friend has pre-empted the next paragraph of my speech. Why on earth, having spent £7 billion on new aircraft carriers, would we use them in this way? It is a waste of capability and an appalling use of the cutting-edge platform we have just built. As importantly, they do not have the capacity to carry or launch amphibious landing craft, and their holds are not designed to meet...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I could not agree more. Our Royal Marines work day in, day out—40 Commando and all the others—to ensure that we are where we need to be, helping our allies as well as protecting the nation. To return to my speech, when using the carriers, our troops would have to be deployed by air. Although it may make sense to deliver the first wave of troops quickly by air, that has its...

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I could not agree more. I have visited 43 Commando and seen up close the work that it does protecting the deterrent. Without it, I would be concerned about how we would move forward. Where I disagree in relation to changes to warfare is with the idea that our amphibious capability is no longer a strategic necessity and is not a core aspect of the military mix that we will need going forward....

UK Amphibious Capability — [James Gray in the Chair] (21 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I am so sorry; I have just finished.

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: Before I start, may I first apologise to the House? I should have directed everyone to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I thank all hon. Members for participating today, and the Minister for her contribution. I am a little concerned I did not hear the words, “We will have a defence aerospace industrial strategy,” and I hope she will return to the...

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I beg to move, That this House has considered defence aerospace industrial strategy. I must begin by thanking the Backbench Business Committee for allocating time for this very important debate on the Floor of the House. I also thank my friend, the hon. Member for Witney (Robert Courts), for co-sponsoring it. Madam Deputy Speaker, I am sure you would agree that the calibre of Members here on...

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I agree with the right hon. Gentleman, who has raised that point repeatedly in recent months. We have to decide what reserves we need, but that is no replacement for the development of our future capabilities. First, on our economy, our defence aerospace sector makes an enormous contribution. It is the core of our wider defence industry, which directly employs more than 142,000 people, with a...

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I completely agree. Let us be clear: this is a brand-new aircraft, and our Red Arrows, with their skills set, should be selling it to the world.

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I completely agree. The reality is that this is about our sovereign skills mix, and about whether we can develop future training aircraft or fast jet aircraft. This is also about people’s lives: for the people in the Gallery, this is about the jobs they will move on to in the future. This is therefore a key moment at which the Government should act.

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: Perish the thought that the Red Arrows should fly anything other than British-built planes. Let us be clear: 2030 was not a date anyone recognised until recent weeks for the renewal of the Hawks. I say this as a young Member of this House, obviously—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]—but the newest Hawk aircraft used by the Red Arrows is six months older than me, so this is...

Defence Aerospace Industrial Strategy (16 Nov 2017)

Ruth Smeeth: I will, so long as the hon. Gentleman says how young I am.


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