GMB, the largest shipbuilders union in the country, has warned the UK Government that there is a big difference between “deliver” and “develop” when it comes to the Fleet Solid Support ship programme.
Responding to the publication of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy this afternoon, GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:
“Workers across Scotland’s defence manufacturing industries will read a lot of rhetoric in this review, but what they’ll want from the government is detail.
The challenge for any grand plan that depends on manufacturing to support its ambitions is simple. Are you going to invest in the domestic infrastructure and supply chains to deliver it, or are you going to export it to the rest of the world?
In the case of the Fleet Solid Support ships, there is a big difference between “deliver” and “develop”. The manufacture of these vessels could transform UK shipbuilding, and with it the prospects for yards like Rosyth and Ferguson Marine, and supply chain fabricators like Harland & Wolff (formerly BiFab).
On that basis, what today’s review means for shipbuilding in particular remains to be seen.”
The 100-page Integrated Review document sets out the UK’s national security and foreign policy approach.