BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith has co-signed a letter which calls for the awarding of defence contracts to centre on ensuring positive impacts throughout the UK.
The letter, signed by 11 cross-party Welsh MPs, asks that Minister for Defence Procurement James Heappey MP explores all ways in which the awarding of defence contracts can benefit the UK socially and economically, support investment in British jobs and help regenerate less prosperous areas.
The letter reads: “This needs to be central to the economic strategy of central Government and ought to be a key aspect of evaluating tenders for Ministry of Defence contracts.”
The letter makes reference to the Dunne Report, which made 41 recommendations on how defence can increase its contribution to UK prosperity.
The letter also mentions the success of Merthyr Tydfil’s General Dynamics Land System UK, which employs people from across South Wales – including Blaenau Gwent – and was recently visited by Nick Smith MP to see the impact of British companies working on UK defence contracts.
Mr Smith said: “Much like when I argued in Parliament for our military vehicles to be built with British Steel, I believe it’s crucial that we keep big defence opportunities in the UK.
“This Government should give every opportunity to manufacturing companies in the UK, so that they can continue to invest in local jobs and contribute towards the regeneration of less prosperous parts of the UK.”