All UK naval ships should be built in the UK to protect jobs and yards, including those on the Clyde, a new report has argued.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Shipbuilding at Westminster has issued a series of recommendations to the UK Government on the future Royal Navy capacity and ensuring the shipbuilding industry is protected .

The influential group said that when deciding where to build the next generation of ships, the UK Government has to consider that many foreign shipyards are state owned and receive subsidies from their governments.

The group stated: “This places UK shipyards at a competitive disadvantage.”

It includes a call for the Ministry of Defence to review whether it has ordered enough Type 26 frigates to meet operational need and underwater threats.

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The group warned that the shipbuilding industry needs the certainty of future orders to “ enable private sector shipbuilders and the wider supply chain to invest in infrastructure, facilities and emerging naval technology”.

SNP and Labour MPs in Glasgow have called on UK yards including BAE at Govan and Scotstoun to benefit from naval orders to offer job security for workers on the Clyde.

The All Party Group includes Paul Sweeney, Glasgow North East Labour MP and Chris Stephens, Glasgow South SNP MP.

Mr Sweeney, a former Glasgow shipyard employee, said: “ For all the Government’s talk of a prosperity agenda , the idea that British naval contracts are being tendered overseas while thousands of shipbuilding jobs are under threat across the UK is grotesque.

“Building all of these ships in the UK by designating them as naval ships saves the taxpayer huge sums through wage and supplier tax payments returning to the Treasury. The multiplier effect is estimated at £350m for the £1bn Fleet Solid Support Ships contract alone.

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“The feast and famine cycle that has plagued the industry for decades has been hugely disruptive and it must end by building all British ships in British shipyards.”

Mr Stephens, whose constituency includes Govan shipyard, said: “This report brings the views of not just MPs but trade unions who represent the shipyard workforce, and defence experts.

“It makes clear that the Fleet Support Ships could be built on the same basis as the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, and kept in the UK.

“It recognises the highly skilled trades of the Clyde workforce, and the support for the economy and insists that tax revenue of workers building ships in the UK should be a factor in tenders.”

Unions estimate that the Fleet Solid Support Ships would support 1800 shipyard jobs if they are built in the UK and many more in the supply chain.

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer and CSEU Chair, said:

“This detailed and convincing cross-party report is an important intervention.

“Ministers promised a shipbuilding ‘renaissance’ but instead skilled workers are being laid off while major orders are sent overseas.

“The UK needs its own military shipbuilding capacity - Penny Mordaunt (Defence Secretary) now has an historic opportunity to change course and help secure the future of jobs and yards that are under threat.


“GMB calls on the Government to adopt this important report and guarantee that in future all Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships will be built in UK yards.”