ATKINS SPEAKS UP FOR THE REGION'S DEFENCE INDUSTRIES

Speaking in the Parliament on Tuesday, the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP (North West), made the case for increased co-operation between EU based defence companies. "The defence industrial base is crucial to jobs and infrastructure in North West England" he commented, "but there is a need for better co-ordination and more effective cost control. The taxpayer will not tolerate 'gold-plating' of designs, wasteful manufacturing processes and product duplication" continued Sir Robert.

"It is essential that there is more standardisation and more common usage of weapon systems." The North West MEP was contributing to a major debate on US/EU relations in Foreign and Defence policy, during which he also demanded an early and positive decision to go ahead with the Airbus A400M Military Transport Aircraft, which would preserve jobs in the North West.

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