At Scottish Questions today (Wednesday) Lesley Laird called on David Mundell to stand up for the shipbuilding industry and back Labour’s campaign to build new Fleet Solid Support vessels in the UK.
Ill-thought out changes to Government tendering rules redefined the vessels, meaning that they are not classified as complex warships and therefore need not be built in the UK. This is a decision that is entirely at odds with other nations and is incredibly detrimental to the shipbuilding industry across the UK.
Ms Laird said: “I grew up in a shipbuilding community and I know what a warship looks like. To pretend that the Fleet Solid Support vessels are not warships is to play word games with Scottish shipbuilders’ jobs.
“These are highly skilled, highly paid jobs that could return £2.3billion in revenue to the Treasury while providing sustainable employment and ensure communities continue to thrive.
“The Tories are giving foreign, state-subsidised yards an unfair advantage by ignoring the benefits of building in Britain in terms of tax revenues and supply chain jobs.
“Thatcher’s toxic legacy of running down Scottish shipbuilding can only be reversed by a Labour government rebuilding Britain with a transformative industrial strategy.”