- Devonport MP calls for new Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships to be built in British shipyards
- Says Coronavirus makes it even more important that jobs are created in coastal shipyards
- Devonport would benefit from design work if new RFA supply ships are built in Britain
Devonport’s MP, Luke Pollard, has written to the Defence Secretary calling for a report into the procurement of tankers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary that were built in South Korea to be published. Luke is working with MPs as part of the campaign to have the new RFA supply ships that will supply the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers built in Britain.
The report that the MOD is refusing to publish was commissioned by Penny Mourdant MP in her brief time as Defence Secretary before she was sacked by Boris Johnson. The report looked into the benefits of sending contracts to build ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary to overseas shipyards instead of awarding the contract to British shipyards.
Luke has been calling for the new Solid Support Ship contract for the RFA to be built in British shipyards for the past two years.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“The new RFA ships should be built in British shipyards by British workers. The RFA’s new tankers were built in South Korea rather than in British yards and I fear Ministers may be planning to do the same again with the new contract for supply ships. The MOD should publish this report and ensure the contract for the new ships can only go to British shipyards.
“With the Coronavirus ravaging our economy this contract would secure jobs in shipyards across the nation and that could include design jobs coming to Devonport. Sending the contract abroad supports foreign shipyards when our yards stand idle without orders. It also means that British taxpayers are paying the wages of workers abroad and potentially also the unemployment support for shipyard workers at home. Build them here was the right answer before the virus, and it certainly is the right answer with the virus.”
The report into the tanker contract was commissioned to inform the decision on how to award the £1.5bn contract for the new support ships.
The story was broken in the Mirror here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/ministry-defence-refuses-release-key-22007847