MoD must maximise potential of NI’s defence sector

DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has welcomed the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee inquiry into UK Defence spending across Northern Ireland and called for the exploration of an MoD hub being created in Northern Ireland to help nurture and facilitate a strategic approach to supporting and developing the industry.

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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Mrs Lockhart said,

“I welcome the commencement of this inquiry into Defence spending in Northern Ireland - an issue which our Party Leader Gavin Robinson has spearheaded.

Whilst average MoD spending per head of the population across the UK is £340, in Northern Ireland it is only £60. The Committee inquiry has today taken evidence which shows that there is massive potential for spending in Northern Ireland to be expanded.

Recent contracts, including the supply of Thales missile systems to Ukraine and the construction of new Royal Navy support ships at Harland & Wolff demonstrate what can be possible in Northern Ireland. We have the expertise within our workforce both in manufacturing but also in cyber security and design.

The “Safeguarding the Union” command paper called for the UK Government to “showcase” the capabilities of Northern Ireland’s defence industries. We will be working within this Committee inquiry to ensure the visibility of Northern Ireland’s capability in this sector is promoted and embrace and opportunities such as the creation of a Northern Ireland MoD hub are explored.”

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