Kate Hollern MP today spoke in the House of Commons during the urgent steel debate to insist the government use British steel in defence manufacturing.
Suggesting ways that the government the could support our steel industry, the Blackburn MP said;
"The last Labour government introduced the Defence Industrial Strategy which made British jobs and industries the first priority in all decisions on Ministry of Defence contracts, perhaps this is something the government would consider implementing in this time of crisis of in the steel industry.
We would like to to see – whenever and wherever possible – British steel used to build the equipment, weapons, vehicles and ships that our armed forces need to keep us safe.
This government scrapped our Defence Industrial Strategy and we’ve seen the impact of that decision on the British steel industry already."
Highlighting recent and upcoming defence projects Kate went on to explain;
"Three new ships for the Royal Navy are being built in Glasgow with 60 per cent of steel bought from Sweden and only 20 per cent from within the UK.
And they’re also refusing to guarantee that the Navy’s new Type 26 frigates will be built using British steel. The Defence Minister would only say: “They will have the opportunity to bid.”
The MoD has a £178 billion budget for defence equipment over the next ten years, and Labour will continue to argue that spending must support jobs and growth in the British steel industry.
This paints a picture of a government that is willing to talk the talk when it comes to steel but is yet to walk the walk.
They must look to reverse the decision to scrap the Defence Industrial Strategy with haste and use the £178 billion defence equipment budget over the next ten years to secure British jobs and secure British industry."