Ferguson Marine have already bid for work relating to the Type 31e Frigates and have also successfully won funding from the EU to produce the world’s first hydrogen-powered ferry. It’s clear that Inverclyde is producing some of the highest quality ships in the world.
It therefore makes no sense that the UK Government would put additional obstacles in Ferguson Marine’s path when they are well placed to bid for a lucrative new defence contract that would sustain jobs, apprentices and investment in Inverclyde.
I have heard it argued that by allowing countries from across the globe to bid for UK work then the UK shipbuilders will be able to bid for work across the globe. However, this only works if an industry is already vibrant and the shipbuilding sector in the UK is still reinventing itself after years of neglect. It’s need nurtured before it can take on the world.
Surely a UK Government that genuinely cared about domestic shipbuilding would be trying to find an excuse to give Scottish yards the best possible chance of success rather than threatening a positive outcome.
The UK Government must back yards such as Ferguson Marine and ensure that taxpayers money is supporting employment in the UK, rather than subsidising their competition.