Defence Industry: Scotland

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:47 pm on 30th April 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative, Stirling 4:47 pm, 30th April 2019

I would sign up to beating swords in ploughshares every day of the week, but the lesson of history is that we defend the peace by being strong. I am proud of the United Kingdom’s 2% defence spending commitment. We have obligations in the alliance that we meet.

I recently had the privilege of attending the naming ceremony of HMS Taymar, the latest second-generation River-class ship, on the Clyde. It is a magnificent ship built in the best traditions of Scottish shipbuilding for the Royal Navy, by Scottish engineers, fitters, designers, programmers—a host of highly skilled professionals. The workforce spoke with such pride about their work, and they are fully justified in that pride, because they are making a massive contribution to the security of our country and our servicemen and women who sail in those ships. My hon. Friend the Member for Stafford outlined some of the other things that they do.

Scotland’s contribution to the defence sector and our Scottish servicemen and women are a matter of national pride for all of us. The men and women who serve alongside our service personnel are to be saluted. I will long remember the visit I made in my constituency to people who work for Babcock—mechanics and engineers who had gone to Afghanistan and Iraq to be there with our service people to service their armoured vehicles and to keep them on the road. They must not have their sacrifice traduced by an ideologically driven attack on a proud and vital industry.