Harland and Wolff

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Harland and Wolff

I have a personal interest in the future of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, which is under threat, as the founder of the company, Sir Edward Harland, was from Scarborough.

The overriding reason why it must be preserved is that it contains the biggest dry dock in Britain, and the only one capable of handling our two new aircraft carriers (apart from the commercial dock in which they were constructed). There has been almost no joined-up thinking in British naval affairs for four decades.

The Type 26 frigate is finding much favour in export markets. Our own order for the Navy should be increased to 16 vessels without delay, with one hull entering the water every year from 2023 onwards. Will it happen? Probably not, as we have been governed by sea-blind inadequates since Sir James Callaghan – the last premier to truly appreciate the value of British sea power.

Mark Harland (UKIP Treasurer), Scarborough North Yorkshire

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