STEPHEN Metcalfe MP rose to the floor of the House of Commons yesterday to stress the local importance of defence exports to South Basildon and East Thurrock.
In the exchange, Mr Metcalfe first asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Dunne, what steps he is taking to increase defence exports. The Minister responded saying that the Government are working tirelessly to support economic growth to which responsible defence exports make an important contribution. He also stated that Ministers across departments are engaged in supporting allies in acquiring top-quality British military equipment.
The local MP then stressed the importance of defence exports to South Basildon and East Thurrock which has a number of defence and aerospace contractors – many of which Mr Metcalfe has visited. He then asked the Minister to join him in welcoming the 62% growth achieved last year in defence exports.
As well as welcoming the figure, which is up to £8.8 billion, the Minister stressed the cross-governmental support for increasing exports and highlighted the forthcoming defence and security exhibition soon to take place at the ExCel Centre which brings buyers from all over the world to see the best of British technology.
Mr Metcalfe later commented: “We have a fantastic heritage in this industry in South Basildon and Thurrock. Companies such as Selex ES are vital to the local and national economy and I will do all I can to support further growth in defence exports in 2013.”