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Economy Economy

Take forward Sir John Parker’s review of shipbuilding

Last updated: 12:16pm 29 October 2019

We will take forward Sir John Parker’s review of shipbuilding, helping our shipyards modernise and collaborate.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.21

Our verdict

In 2016, the independent report by Sir John Parker on shipbuilding revealed that procurement in the naval industry is relatively slow due to planning and governance fragmentation, leading to a gradual depletion of the Royal Navy fleet. To strengthen the sector, the report recommended assuring budgets, reinforcing project management, developing an industrial strategy, encouraging innovation, sustaining skilled jobs and focusing on exports. This policy is a promise to take those recommendations forward.

In September 2017, the Ministry of Defence published the National Shipbuilding Strategy, accepting the review’s recommendations in full. The strategy aims to transform procurement and planning, boost skills and innovation, and increase competitiveness and exports. Its implementation will be reviewed by Sir John Parker.

A January 2018 update on the shipbuilding strategy said the government had opened navy procurement contracts to competition, and instructed the industry to provide plans for new frigates capped at £250 million per vessel.

In a September 2019 update, it was revealed that engineering company Babcock will build the latest fleet of Royal Navy Type 31e vessels, designed for export under the recommendations of the Parker review.

With the National Shipbuilding Strategy accepting Sir John Parker’s recommendations in full, and the subsequent transformation in naval procurement and design, we can see that the government has  taken the shipbuilding review forward. We’re marking this policy as ‘done’.

Take the facts forward!

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