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24 February 2012
A leaked letter to the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, has exposed the Tory government's "latest betrayal" of UK manufacturing.
The government decided to award the contract for four tankers, part of the Maritime defence secretary Philip Hammond, it appears that a substantial amount of work could have been carried out in the UK if the Italian firm had been awarded the contract.
Ian Waddell, Unite national officer for aerospace and shipbuilding, said:
"This is the latest betrayal of UK manufacturing by a government that seems hell bent on destroying our capacity to build anything. It is a stark demonstration of what the government's defence procurement policy of 'buying off the shelf' means - exporting jobs."
"Why was there no British bid for this work and why weren't we told that the Italian bid included substantial UK content? Why has no account been taken of the costs of sacking UK workers and the loss of tax revenues if the work is done overseas?"
"Time and time again this government fails to support and protect UK industry whilst simultaneously arguing for the need to rebalance the economy with manufacturing growth. It is double speak of the worst kind and UK shipyard workers will not forget that this Tory-led government says one thing but does another."
Reacting to this news, Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) General Secretary, Hugh Scullion, said:
"This is a bitter blow for UK shipbuilding. Only last week the CSEU went to see defence minister Peter Luff to urge him to support the UK defence industry. We raised the MARS contract and argued that UK taxpayers' money should be spent supporting UK jobs when equipment is bought for UK forces. It is what every other developed country seems to be able to do."
Click here for the media report: