Ministers are preparing to launch a new defence industrial strategy after warnings that the UK risks losing decades of skills in making jets and warships.
The plan is expected to put greater emphasis on “prosperity” by assessing defence companies’ contributions to jobs and skills when they sign Ministry of Defence contracts.
Sources said the new approach could be launched next month. The MoD has tended to prioritise value for money over sustaining British jobs and skills in recent years, making the UK one of the most open markets for overseas bidders.
American aerospace giant Boeing has been a serial, and controversial, winner of defence contracts in recent years. Last year, the MoD agreed to buy five US-built E7 sentry planes from Boeing, without inviting rival bids.
A senior defence industry source said: “Every other nation in Europe with a big industrial base is very well aligned with its industrial partners. The UK is the only nation where the government takes pride in undermining its national champions.” (end of excerpt)
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