Friday 14 October 2016 6:05 am

EEF urges government to ensure its industrial strategy helps defence firms

EEF has called on the government to ensure that its industrial strategy bolsters companies in the defence and security supply chain.

It believes that a boost to the capability of, and spin off technologies in, the sectors are vital to the future of high value manufacturing in the UK. 

"The advantage to the UK economy of maintaining key onshore capacity is clear," Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, said at the annual conference of NDI, the organisation representing Britain’s defence, security, aerospace and space industries.

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"It is linked to the development of technology, job creation, supply chain development and potential future export sales and the forthcoming industrial strategy has a key role to play in nurturing and supporting this.

"I have also no doubt that the technologies developed on such major defence and security programmes will spin off into other sectors of our economy and help resolve other challenges faced in our ever changing world."

Prime Minister Theresa May promised to create a "proper industrial strategy" for the UK shortly after her appointment in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

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She also made Greg Clarke secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, instead of presiding over the department of business, innovation and skills, like his predecessor.

Scuoler also applauded the government's commitment to maintain defence and security spending, in particular the continued commitment to the F-35 programme and the announcement of the Trident Successor programme.

He said that this would "create and safeguard many jobs and create significant supply chain opportunities."