Boris Johnson plans a post-Brexit boost for UK shipbuilding as part of defence review
- Defence review said to be changing rules around giving British firms contracts
- Currently EU rules require international competitions for contracts
- These restrictions could be releaxed by 2023
- Ministers have hinted at a new £1.5 billion deal to build Royal Navy supply ships
British shipbuilding companies are set for a post-Brexit boost under plans being considered by Boris Johnson’s defence review, it was claimed last night.
The review is said to be considering changing EU-derived rules that prevent the UK from prioritising British firms in awarding contracts.
Currently, the EU-derived Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) require the Government to carry out international competitions for contracts relating to ‘non-sensitive’ defence shipbuilding.
‘Sensitive’ vessels, such as submarines and some classes of warships, are exempt.
A new defence review under PM Boris Johnson (pictured) is said to be considering changing EU-derived rules that prevent the UK from prioritising British firms in awarding contracts
But the Telegraph reported last night that Mr Johnson’s review is considering reforms to the regulations, including the possibility of new laws to relax these rules as early as 2023.
Last month, both the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace hinted that a new £1.5 billion deal to build Royal Navy supply ships would stay in the UK.
Three support vessels were due to be put to tender because they were not previously classed as warships.
Both the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace have hinted that a new £1.5 billion deal to build Royal Navy supply ships would stay in the UK (Pictured: File photo of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer ‘HMS Duncan’ being launched at Scotland’s Govan shipyard)
However, a few weeks ago, Mr Wallace told the Commons that the vessels were warships, raising the possibility that they would be built in Britain.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: ‘Defence is committed to supporting the Government’s ambition to reinvigorate UK shipbuilding.
‘As we approach the end of the transition period, the MoD is exploring opportunities to better tailor the regulations to meet our needs, although no decisions have been made.’