Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View, Johnny Mercer, led a testy meeting with the Defence Secretary this evening alongside fellow Plymouth MPs Gary Streeter and Sheryll Murray. The three MPs, in no uncertain terms, made clear to Michael Fallon as to the effects of these proposals on the local Plymouth economy and the area’s strong historical links to the military and navy in particular.
The Defence Secretary said that not only were these not being considered presently, but the proposals hadn’t even yet crossed his desk as the Ministry of Defence undertakes a capability review to ensure the country is ready for any threats it may face. While making clear the dangers of falsities around what is actually a growing defence budget for the first time in 6 years, Mr Fallon said that rumour mongering and suggestions to the contrary must be challenged in the interests of servicemen and women whose livelihoods are being discussed and the unfounded worry it could cause.
“I can confirm that earlier today I had a meeting with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, to get over to him my thoughts, and Plymouth’s reaction to the news that leaked from the MoD concerning HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion, and the wider UK’s Amphibious Capability.
“I am content that Michael understands the seriousness of these proposals to Plymouth. He has visited Defence in Plymouth a number of times – he absolutely gets the importance of Defence to our City, and is fully aware of my views on these proposals.
“I will work as hard as I ever do, to make sure that these proposals do not become reality in Plymouth. They remain proposals – not policy, and I am determined to make Government keep it that way.”