Defence Secretary Shipbuilding hint 'welcome but we need action'

16 May 2019
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GMB, the union for shipbuilding, has cautiously welcomed Penny Mordaunt’s comments to the First Sea Lord's Sea Power Conference today.

The Defence Secretary dropped a strong hint the upcoming Fleet Solid Support ships could be built in the UK.

She said: “What’s needed is a closer partnership with industry that gives them the confidence to invest and build, and us the confidence that we can and we must buy British.” 

GMB has long campaigned for the £1billion FSS contract to be given to UK shipyards – producing a ground-breaking report highlighting the estimated 6,700 jobs created or secured if the orders were kept in the UK. 

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer and CSEU Chair, said:

“GMB has long argued that Ministers can easily exempt these ships from international competition on national security grounds in the same way other European counterparts do.

 “Let’s hope these comments mark the start of a change of philosophy and we see the badly needed orders that drive a real renaissance in shipbuilding - and hopefully steel - bringing skills, jobs, apprentices and prosperity.

“GMB members now need to see action not just words.”

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