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Committee examines Government’s shipbuilding policy

12 May 2022

The Defence Committee examines the Government’s shipbuilding policy, following the publication of the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh.

Witnesses

Tuesday 17 May 2022

At 2.30pm

  • Sir John Parker, Independent Reviewer of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (2019)
  • Ian Waddell - General Secretary, Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions
  • Richard Powell - Chair Maritime Defence and Security Group Council, Society of Maritime Industries (SMI)

The Defence Committee will question a panel of witnesses including Sir John Parker, author of a review of the UK Naval Shipbuilding Strategy for the Ministry of Defence (published in 2019). The Committee will also question Ian Waddell, Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, and Richard Powell, Society of Maritime Industries.

The cross-party committee of MPs is likely to consider whether the strategy refresh:

  • guarantees a steady drumbeat of work to sustain British shipyards;
  • takes on board the advice the Government has consistently been given, most recently in the Committee’s own report “We’re going to need a bigger Navy”, about how to support the British shipbuilding industry;
  • supports the Government’s levelling up agenda and work across the UK;
  • develops the skills and technology the industry needs.

The evidence session follows on from recent correspondence Tobias Ellwood MP, Chair of the Defence Committee, to Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence and Government Shipbuilding Tsar, on a range of issues relating to the Navy’s purpose and procurement following the Committee’s earlier report “We’re going to need a bigger Navy”.

The correspondence (19 April) raised a series of questions with the Secretary of State concerning the Navy’s procurement programme, including the availability of the UK’s Type 45 destroyers, uncertainty around the replacement of the Harpoon anti-ship missile, and options to replace RFA Argus, the UK’s floating medical facility Chair Letters.pdf (parliament.uk)

The Secretary of State is due to give evidence to the Committee on the shipbuilding strategy refresh and the Department’s other work at a date before the Summer Recess.

Further information

Image: Andrew Linnett/Crown copyright