John Penrose issues warning at EU red tape holding back Brexit
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FTSE 250 company Babock has won a key contract which will see it supplying the EU country with three new warships. The contract is worth £1.4billion. But more than the monetary value, the deal has been touted by the Telegraph’s Industry Editor as a “vote of confidence in Britain’s defence industry” after Brexit.
Babcock will provide Poland with three new frigates.
These will be based on the Royal Navy’s Type 31 design.
Despite being designed by Babcock, they will not, however, be built in Britain, but rather in Poland’s shipyards.
The frigates will also feature combat equipment from French company Thales and anti-aircraft firepower from MBDA, which is headquartered in France but is part owned by Britain’s BAE Systems, according to the Telegraph.
But David Lockwood, Chief Executive of Babcock, saw reason to be optimistic.
He, quoted in the paper, said: “Its adaptability and capability mean we can tailor the design to suit the needs of the Polish Navy.
“Driven by innovation and backed by heritage, the Arrowhead 140 frigate has British ingenuity and engineering at its core.”
Jeremy Quin, UK Defence Procurement Minister, also celebrated the news, noting: “Poland is one of our oldest and closest allies, and we continue to strengthen our partnership to help deter future threats.”
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Babcock beat German rival Thyssenkrupp in the bid.
This is likely to be perceived as a snub to Germany with relations within the EU bloc not currently at their highest due to disputes with Poland over the supremacy of EU law.
The Polish defence group overseeing the frigate project, PGZ, said the purchase from Britain’s Babcock “will significantly increase the capabilities of the Polish Navy”.
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They, quoted in the Telegraph, added it will “make a significant contribution of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance”.
Many countries around Europe and in NATO are currently declaring they will spend more on their militaries.
The decision has, of course, followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on ongoing events yesterday, on Friday: “Alongside our NATO Allies, we are deploying troops and assets on land, sea and air to bolster European defences in response to the build-up of Russian military forces on the border of Ukraine.
“NATO and our allies have been clear that an invasion of Ukraine will be met with severe consequences.
“De-escalation and diplomacy remain the only path out of this situation.”
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