I’m delighted that the Labour Party has officially backed my campaign to build Fleet Solid Support Ships in Britain, a move that would create skilled jobs in Plymouth and across the far South West.
I have long been campaigning to build the new Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ships in British shipyards, arguing vocally against plans by the Government to build these important ships abroad.
At Labour Party Conference this week, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey announced that the next Labour Government will make sure that “these ships will be built in Britain, by British workers.” You can read the announcement in full here.
Research by GMB shows that this policy would create more than 6000 jobs across the country, and to mark this step forward in my campaign, I visited Birkenhead shipyard today to see RFA Fort Victoria.
My campaign so far
In 2018, I led a debate on shipbuilding in the House of Commons, becoming one of the first MPs to call for these ships to be built in Britain. I argued that the RFA “should be homegrown, British designed and British made, using British steel and British technologies.”
In 2019, I co-wrote a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Shipbuilding that reiterated the case to build the RFA on our shores.
Since then I have continued to write to Ministers and publicly call for these ships to be built only in UK yards: https://www.lukepollard.org/news/2020/05/13/luke-calls-for-ministry-of-defence-to-publish-report-into-rfa-ships-being-built-abroad/