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Labour demands Boris Johnson take Harland and Wolff back into public ownership

Rebecca Long Bailey, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Tony Lloyd, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, have called on Boris Johnson to take Harland and Wolff back into public ownership.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister ahead of his visit to Northern Ireland tomorrow (Wednesday), they have asked for the government to step in and safeguard the shipyard’s future, saying: “Staff and suppliers need reassurances that their future is secured. Particularly with concerns around the future of Bombardier and Wrightbus, Northern Ireland’s industrial sector needs swift Government intervention.”

In addition, Rebecca Long Bailey and Tony Lloyd call on the government to support Labour’s commitment that three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, worth £1 billion, must be built in UK shipyards.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing in relation to the concerning situation at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. We understand that the shipyard is at risk of imminent closure with administrators expected to arrive on Monday.

As you will know, Harland and Wolff has been a vital part of Belfast’s economy for over 150 years. It is Europe’s largest shipyard and is at the heart of East Belfast. This Government must act decisively and step in to safeguard its future.

This isn’t, as the Government describes, a ‘commercial issue’. It’s about standing up for UK manufacturing, jobs and livelihoods. Staff and suppliers need reassurances that their future is secured. Particularly with concerns around the future of Bombardier and Wrightbus, Northern Ireland’s industrial sector needs swift Government intervention.

Labour is calling on you to pledge on your visit to Belfast to take Harland and Wolff back into public ownership and support our commitment that three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, worth £1 billion, must be built in UK shipyards.

We look forward to your urgent response.

Yours Sincerely
Rt Hon Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Shadow BEIS Secretary
Rt Hon Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary