Response to the Defence Select Committee’s report on Defence Acquisition – Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to the Defence Select Committee’s report on Defence Acquisition, said:

“This is another blow to the country’s confidence in the Government’s competence on defence.

“Days after confusion and contradiction on defence spending the chaos of the aircraft carrier decision is laid bare. This wasted time and money, led to a serious capability gap and exposed lacking knowledge of defence procurement. The UK has paid at least an extra £100m to have no aircraft to fly from an aircraft carrier for years.

“This is an important report. Industry have warned that without a defence industrial strategy tens of thousands of jobs are at risk and now influential experts outline the damage and competitive disadvantage brought by its absence. There is a loss of skills, contradictions in export policy, worries over investment in science and no strategy to support sovereign capabilities.

“A new industrial strategy must improve the speed of procurement, share the burden of risk with industry, support small businesses and strengthen collaboration between companies, the Department and the military.

“Labour has consistently called for a defence industrial strategy and our procurement review chimes with this report’s analysis. Ministers must respond, listen to these arguments and change course.”

The report can be read in full here.

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