Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

MoD overlooking smaller firms for contracts, say MPs

A greater proportion of the Army will be based north of the border (Andrew Milligan/PA)
A greater proportion of the Army will be based north of the border (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Ministry of Defence is overlooking smaller companies for contracts, a committee of MPs has said.

The Scottish Affairs Committee’s report, titled Defence In Scotland: Military Landscape, said the sector is “experiencing a new era of confidence and investment”, but that the MoD tends to rely on large international prime contractors.

The committee said it had heard Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) find it “extremely difficult” to access the UK defence sector and that “culture change is required” to address UK disparities in spending with SMEs.

It also recommended greater collaboration with local authorities around plans to reduce the MoD’s base estate by 30% by 2040.

The report welcomed the decision to base the P8 Poseidon and E7 Wedgetail aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, as well as to increase the proportion of the British Army north of the border.

MP Pete Wishart
Pete Wishart said Scotland has an ‘impressive reputation’ in defence (House of Commons)

Committee chairman Pete Wishart said: “Scotland’s contribution to UK defence is undeniable.

“Our varied Scottish defence estate, ranging from land, sea and air, is pivotal to UK security and vital to our military allies.

“It’s brilliant news that the UK Government’s increased defence spending is benefiting MoD bases and local communities in Scotland.

“Scotland’s impressive reputation in defence can be enhanced further if more Scottish SMEs are engaged by the MoD to fulfil UK defence orders.

“The overlooking of Scottish SMEs must change so that different areas of the UK can benefit and contribute to our national security and allow more local economies to thrive.”

Minister for Defence for the House of Lords Baroness Goldie said: “We are pleased this report recognises the significant and growing contribution Defence makes to Scotland.

“With critical sites including RAF Lossiemouth and HMNB Clyde, Scotland is home to some of the cornerstones of the UK’s defence, and that of our Nato allies.

“We value our strong and active engagement with industry in Scotland and the benefit we derive from the talents and skills both there and throughout the UK.

“Our commitment remains to increasing our expenditure with small and medium enterprises across the whole of the UK and we have almost doubled our yearly spend since 2016/17.”