Today a Labour Opposition Day motion in the House of Commons demanded that a £1bn Royal Navy supply ship be built in UK shipyards.
At present the Ministry of Defence does not factor in the ‘socioeconomic value’ of defence contracts when they make procurement decisions.
This means that the many benefits of awarding work in Britain go unaccounted for – the additional revenue that comes back to the Exchequer in taxation, higher National Insurance contributions and lower social security payments, and not to mention the value of apprenticeships and spending in the wider economy.
Sadly Conservatives vowed to push on with offering the enormous contract for building Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fleet Solid Support ships to international bidders.
Stephen Morgan MP for Portsmouth South said:
“Conservatives had the chance today to secure defence jobs in our country.
It’s normal in other countries to use government contracts to support industry, defend workers’ rights, ensure gender equality and protect the environment. But sadly the Tories failed in the debate today to make this commitment.
The Ministry of Defence could use the freedom it has under EU law to make sure our Royal Navy’s contract goes to a UK shipyard.
That would create or secure up to 6,500 jobs around the UK, including 1,805 shipyard jobs, which are highly skilled and 45 per cent better paid than the average for all jobs.
That’s why I’m backing the campaign to Build It In Britain.”
Labour is realistic that in this global marketplace not every contract can or should be delivered in the UK.
Where the nation is buying from abroad or working in collaboration with allies to develop assets, Labour would prioritise workshare agreements to create jobs and boost growth in the UK.