MP quizzes Minister over BAE exports

25566 - 1 Mark Menzies MP

FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has asked for continued Government support for aircraft exports in the wake of job cut announcements at BAE Systems in Lancashire.

The Member of Parliament quizzed the Minister responsible for defence exports in the House of Commons about efforts to secure sales of Typhoon and Hawk aircraft, particularly into new markets in the Far East.

Speaking during Defence Questions on Tuesday, Mr Menzies said: “The Minister might be aware that there have recently been announced new job losses in management positions at BAE Systems in Warton in my constituency.

“Given that the Typhoon is playing such an important role in our defence exports, what progress are the Government making with Typhoons for the Malaysian air force, in the light of Malaysia’s recent election to the UN Security Council?”

Philip Dunne MP replied: “Clearly, as my hon. Friend knows, given his proximity to the Warton facility, export growth is important for sustaining jobs in Lancashire.

“The Typhoon is competing vigorously in a number of export campaigns, including the Royal Malaysian air force’s multi-role combat aircraft requirement.

“The Government are actively supporting the BAE Systems bid to win the competition and the company has discussed various options to meet the needs of the Malaysian government.

“I visited Malaysia earlier this year to support those efforts, and today six RAF Typhoon aircraft from 3(F) Squadron are flying in Malaysia as part of Exercise Bersama Lima.”

Following the Parliamentary session, Mr Menzies said he was pleased with the Minister’s response.

He added: “When these potential redundancies were announced I was extremely disappointed so wanted to make sure that the Government was doing all it could to support BAE Systems in securing these contracts.

“Clearly, as Fylde’s biggest employer the success of BAE Systems has a knock on effect for the wider economy and since coming to Parliament I have always done what I can to ensure the company is getting the appropriate Government backing.”

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