Skip to main content

Defence Manufacturing: Covid-19 Support

Volume 683: debated on Monday 2 November 2020

If he will bring forward equipment procurement decisions to support the defence manufacturing industry during the covid-19 outbreak. (908044)

We have maintained a close and ongoing dialogue with defence manufacturers throughout the pandemic to ensure that companies are effectively supported. I am pleased to confirm that orders have continued to be placed throughout the crisis.

Airbus and Tata Steel in Neath Port Talbot are strategically important to the Welsh economy. Is the Minister ensuring that procurement is brought forward in terms of buying aircraft and building ships to help British steel and Airbus? Boeing, for example, has a lot of orders in America that supports it as a primary competitor, and we see such support in Europe as well. What is the Minister doing for Airbus and Tata Steel?

There are elements of programmes that are being brought forward. The prime focus now, however, is on supporting the cash flow of the companies and suppliers. We have the means of doing so and we have been doing so. We have also been encouraging primes to support their own supply chains. From what I hear from trade bodies, that has been happening. I am pleased by the way the whole of industry has leant in during this ongoing pandemic and the support they have been given right the way across.