Bill Etheridge, UKIP Defence spokesman, believes the slide in the value of the pound is just the spur needed for the government to boost the UK Defence industry and Buy British. With value of sterling against the dollar down to just $1.22, from a previous level of $1.51, Mr Etheridge believes this gives the UK based producers a clear advantage.
Robert Fox, someone so committed to the Remain campaign that he was signing a petition for a re-run of the Referendum a mere two days after the country had voted in June last year, has written in today’s edition of the London Standard that present contracts to buy fighters, helicopters and the Trident missile system have now reached an eye-watering £200m. Doubts about Boeing’s F-35 fighter have thrown the plans to equip Britain’s new aircraft carriers into disarray.
Mr Etheridge, the UKIP MEP for the West Midlands, said “There has always been a strategic argument for self-sufficiency as regards our Defence industry. No clearer example can be found that the case of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales where we have not got the capacity to make the aircraft to equip our own ships.
“What has changed is that we now have a situation where the economic argument is there too.
“Huge investment schemes involving US aircraft no longer have the benefit of being cheaper than UK produced alternatives.
“If we invest in and purchase products made here, this will attract more investment, which will in turn bring jobs, drive down production costs and see the UK exporting more too.
“Factor in the need to increase spending on our armed forces to make up for years of neglect, and we are faced with a fantastic opportunity which the government needs to grasp.”