Build all navy ships in UK, says Corbyn ahead of Govan visit

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Build all navy ships in UK, says Corbyn ahead of Govan visit

Post by Guest on Sat May 12, 2018 1:40 pm

Jeremy Corbyn has called for navy shipbuilding contracts to stay in the UK in a speech in Glasgow.

There has been speculation that a £1bn contract for three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships could go to a foreign shipyard.

The vessels will provide ammunition, equipment and food to Royal Navy warships.

The Labour leader claimed that building them abroad would "trash" the UK's shipbuilding tradition.

Current UK government policy is for British yards to construct complex warships such as the eight Type 26 frigates which are to be built at BAE Systems' Govan and Scotstoun shipyards on the Clyde over the next 20 years.

But non-combat vessels can be built overseas - with a £450m deal to build four tankers to fuel navy ships at sea being awarded to Daewoo, a South Korean firm, in 2012.

The Ministry of Defence contract for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary solid support ships is expected to go out to international tender later this month - but unions have called for the process to be UK-only.

Speaking last month, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon told Holyrood that it would be a "blatant betrayal" if the work did not go to Scottish shipyards as "during the (independence) referendum, promises were made to those shipyards by the Tories".

She added: "I argue that that work was promised to the Clyde and should definitely go to the Clyde."

However, it has been reported that the BAE yards on the Clyde are not likely to bid for the contract as they are already at full capacity with the Type 26 work.

There have been suggestions that the Port Glasgow and Rosyth yards - owned by Ferguson Marine and Babcock respectively - could form part of any UK-based bid.

Absolutely right, we should be tailor our investments to the UK


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Re: Build all navy ships in UK, says Corbyn ahead of Govan visit

Post by Guest on Sat May 12, 2018 1:42 pm

Jeremy Corbyn is in Govan today arguing that all Royal Navy ships should be built in the UK. It is thought a £1 billion contract for three Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships could go to a foreign shipyard. Currently the Navy builds warships in UK yards but non-combat ships can be built abroad…
Labour’s appeal sounds uncharacteristically patriotic – though it is union influence which is driving Corbyn. The GMB has been running a campaign on the issue. There’s just one issue…
Veterans for Britain and UKIP point out that Corbyn’s plans are not possible because of the EU’s Defence Directive. David Banks from Veterans for Britain explains:
“Although Mr Corbyn will cite the ‘defence exemption’ (Article 346 TEU), this does not provide a general exemption from international or EU-wide tendering for government defence contracts. The exemption is only for the most sensitive items of manufacture where an EU-wide tender would put national security interests at risk. The EU tightened these rules further in 2016. The only way to achieve what Mr Corbyn is (rightly) demanding is to leave the EU Defence Directive. The directive stifles UK options in procurement, jobs and strategic capability.”<>
UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem adds:
”While I agree these RFA ships should be built in the UK; Article 346 of the Treaties demand that military procurement contracts are open to tender across the EU. While there is an exception clause, only the most sensitive items can be guarded for domestic contracts. RFA ships are none front line vessels and therefore, do not qualify as sensitive. Labour either don’t understand EU rules on military procurement contracts or are deliberately trying to mislead the public.”
Jezza all at sea on on this one…
UPDATE: Major-General Julian Thompson, commander of Royal Marines landings in the Falklands War, said:
“We would urge all parties to take a detailed look at the effect that EU policy has on UK interests in this area. We also should not remain associated with a joint EU strategy which would stop the UK making key democratic decisions about preserving essential skills, securing strategic sites, and safeguarding jobs. That is what’s currently being proposed by DExEU civil servants and negotiators via their bid to stay in the EU’s pervasive defence industrial plan, EDIDP.”


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