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#BelfastLough - Belfast's iconic cranes of Samson and Goliath could “end up as tourist attractions” if military shipbuilding contracts are awarded overseas, it has been warned.

As Belfast Live reports the union UNITE made the claim as they launched a Shipbuilding Charter to press for MoD money to be spent at UK shipyards, including Belfast’s Harland & Wolff.

Concerns have been raised about the contracts after the MoD said warships are to be built in the UK for national security reasons, but in a move labelled a “sleight of hand” they are refusing to designate auxiliary and support ships as warships and have sent the contract out to international tender. The move could see the vessels built in Korea or Japan.

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer and lead officer for the shipbuilding industry here, Susan Fitzgerald says it is “crazy” that the vessels are not be designated warships.

She added: “Allowing these ships to be built in the UK would create thousands of jobs and regenerate the skills base. It’s a no brainer for the Government to see that these contracts are awarded here.”

For much more click here and scroll below photo of RFA Fort Victoria berthed at Liverpool landing stage, opposite of (H&W) competiting shipyard of Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. 

Published in Belfast Lough