Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, in advance of the Government launching their consultation on defence industrial strategy tomorrow, said:
“Labour did much in government to strengthen the UK Defence Industry, but we recognise that lessons need to be learnt. That is why we announced our own policy review into procurement reform weeks ago and welcome the Government’s plans.
“It is deeply concerning that this announcement is disconnected from the National Security Strategy, the Defence Review and wider economic policy-making. The Conservative-led Government have no strategic defence plan and no industrial plan. They have announced 42,000 job losses which will decimate our defence industry and skills base. Their emphasis on buying ‘off the shelf’ demonstrates a woeful lack of ambition for UK industry.
“It’s crucial that the country gets value for money in this defence industrial strategy. I hope this is driven by the defence needs of our country and not this Tory-led Government’s cuts plans. We want to see a strong, advanced UK defence industry central to economic growth, increasing exports and generating wealth at home.
“I hope they don't repeat the mistakes of their Defence Review, which was a massive missed opportunity. The SDSR failed dismally to set out a long-term vision for Britain’s place in the world but failed also set out a credible spending package, leaving a £4.3bn black hole, a £15bn overspend and a dent in the morale of our Forces.
“At a time of impending job losses, our economy, national security and our brave Forces deserve better.”