Defence Spending in Scotland — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:13 pm on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 4:13 pm, 6th February 2019

I will happily answer that question. The whole point of the national shipbuilding strategy is to make our shipyards as competitive as possible. For far too long, our shipyards have depended too often on defence for their work. The whole point of the strategy is to try to make them as competitive as possible and to challenge them. The Type 31e frigate competition that the hon. Gentleman mentioned is one such challenge to industry to consider how it can become more competitive, so it can go out to the wider world and start winning competitions. That is why I am really pleased that there is a bid from the UK as part of the fleet solid support competition. We will see whether it is successful, but the point is that we want our shipyards to be competitive. That is the way to secure their future now and in the long term.

Next year, Scotland will be home to all the Royal Navy’s submarines at HMNB Clyde, to one of the British Army’s seven adaptable force brigades and to one of three RAF fast jet main operating bases. That is a mighty testament to a relationship that works—a relationship that makes Britain a global force for good. That is why I believe passionately that Scotland should remain an integral part of this United Kingdom, so we can all work for the good defence of our country and around the globe.

Question put and agreed to.