Following his visit to the Defence and Security Equipment International trade exhibition recently, Philip Dunne highlights the huge opportunities for UK defence shipbuilding from the Fleet Solid Support ship contract, establishment of the National Shipbuilding Office, AUKUS and export prospects.
It is a bit rich of Labour Members to be nit-picking on this contract, given that the competition that they were calling for, whereby shipyards in the UK were to be required to build these ships, is precisely what the Minister has engineered. Will he confirm to the House that following last week’s outstanding Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in docklands, where, as he has mentioned, there were further contracts for British shipbuilders, and following the announcement of the establishment of the National Shipbuilding Office and AUKUS, the opportunities for defence shipbuilding in this country have never been greater?
I was so flattered to be awarded the creative writing award by the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) that I was perhaps too kind. There is an awful lot that is great going on in British shipbuilding at the moment. He has been calling for the design contracts to be awarded, and they have been awarded; we are getting on with the fleet solid support ships. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Philip Dunne) says, there is also great news on Type 31. There is a lot of good news in the sector.