I held a debate in Parliament this week on the motion: “that this House has considered the future of military aircraft manufacturing in the UK.”
I called the debate to ensure the Government is fully committed to Tempest, the sixth generation fighter programme. I asked ministers for an update on our relationship with partner nations as we look to develop the next generation aerospace technology.
It is vital we do this so that we maintain our skills base and military independence.
Our skilled workers at Warton are still manufacturing Typhoon and Hawk aircraft – we must ensure there are future projects for these workers and those in support networks. Aerospace exports have accounted for 87 per cent of our defence exports over the past 10 years and the UK’s combat air sector has an annual turnover of more than £6 billion, supporting 18,000 jobs.
I was pleased to hear defence minister say we should be rightly proud of our Warton workforce – he is absolutely right. It was also reassuring to hear again about the Government’s £2 billion future combat air system technology initiative following the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, and to hear the minister’s reassurances that the UK would remain at the forefront of the aerospace industry.
I followed that debate by attending a constructive round table discussion with union representatives from Warton in Westminster.
Here’s hoping AFC Fylde bring home the FA Trophy this weekend.
The Coasters had a tough game against Salford in the playoff final last weekend, and sadly did not make it to the Football League.
I’m sure they will be determined to take out that frustration on Leyton Orient this weekend.
It is an astonishing achievement to have the club at Wembley on consecutive weekends; I wish the team all the best and will be cheering them on from the stands.
I’m pleased to see the Government launch a consultation on a package of measures to support survivors of domestic abuse. The consultation includes a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, which introduces the first ever government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling non-physical abuse.
Councils will also be legally required to provide support in secure accommodation for abuse survivors and their children.
The Government is also acting on third party puppy and kitten sales. This means pet shops can no longer sell puppies or kittens on behalf of someone else. The aim of this legislation is to deter puppy smugglers who bring underage puppies into the UK, and will help ensure pets are bred in far better conditions.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics this week show wages continuing to rise above inflation in the three months January to March – by some 3.3 per cent, double inflation. That is more money in people’s pockets.