In a move welcomed by Solidarity Union, Jeremy Corbyn will today demand a government guarantee that three new Royal Navy ships are built in Britain to create thousands of jobs and support affiliated industries such as steel.
He will accuse the government of following previous Tory administrations in “hollowing out and closing down of British industry” while ministers prepare to put the Ministry of Defence’s £1 billion contract out to international tender.
Labour calculates that a domestic contract would create over 6,500 jobs, of which 1,800 of them would be in the shipyards.
“Workers in British shipyards, from Plymouth to Rosyth, share a proud tradition — building the best ships in the world,” Mr Corbyn will say.
“But the Conservative government is trashing that tradition by offering up the Ministry of Defence’s most recent contract for three new Fleet Solid Support Ships to overseas companies to build abroad. This decision is wrong.”
He will add that British shipyards used to produce half of all new ships worldwide but now their current market share is less than half a percent.
In the 1980, under the Thatcher administrations, bosses destroyed around 75,000 jobs in British shipyards, leaving just 32,000.
Mr Corbyn will continue: “The Tories seem hell-bent on speeding up and deepening this industrial decline.
“The next Labour government will use public contracts as part of our bigger plans to upgrade our economy.
“Don’t listen to anyone who says we can’t build things in Britain and that a casino economy, which produces little but soaring inequality and insecurity, is our only future.
“Shipbuilding is not a lame duck, and can have a high tech, high skilled and exciting future right here in the UK.”
Patrick Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity Union, welcomed the comments from the Labour leader saying:
"As an economically Nationalist union we want to invest in people living in this country. Our people deserve stable employment and a good standard of living. It is in our national interest to have a strong skill and technology base and as far as defence is concerned we must strive to be self-reliant. On this issue Jeremy Corbyn is right."