Update: Fleet Solid Support ships
It has been a busy few weeks for the CSEU as we have really ramped up our campaign on the Fleet Solid Support ships. We ran a really successful launch meeting in Parliament in a packed out Committee Room, which was addressed by a number of MPs, including Julian Lewis, the Chair of the Defence Select Committee; Kevan Jones, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on shipbuilding and ship repair; and Nia Griffiths, Shadow Defence Secretary. A number of shipyard convenors spoke at the meeting and is was brilliant to see yards from all over the UK represented at the meeting. We followed this up with a lobby of Parliament that was standing room only. Our arguments on the reasons why FSS should be built in the UK are gathering momentum.
I was really pleased to visit Plymouth, home of the Devonport dockyard, to launch the next phase of our campaign, which is to get MPs, Council leaders, union reps and other important community leaders to sign our Charter for FSS. This simple document commits its signatories to do all they can to support a UK bid for FSS and ensure that the ships are designed, built and maintained in the UK. I am delighted to say that all three MPs covering the area – Johnny Mercer, Luke Pollard and Gary Streeter – signed the Charter along with Tudor Evans, the Council Leader and many of our reps and full-time officers. This is the start of a road trip to cover all the major shipbuilding cities across the UK.