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Manufacturing and engineering have always been very important to me and as an MP Iíve always tried to support them.
So itís been really rewarding to work alongside local manufacturing companies over many years now and help them overcome problems and seize opportunities.† Most recently Iíve been working with UK Flood Barriers on the Hampton Lovett estate, helping them win recognition from the British Standards Institution and the Environment Agency for their remarkable range of flood prevention products.

The companyís products range from simple barriers for doors in domestic properties to large scale movable barriers to prevent whole towns from being flooded Ė and it was really good to see them winning the world-wide licence for these barriers, bringing the manufacturing back from the Far East to the West Midlands.

When you read this column I will be working hard for UK manufacturing exports.† As a Defence minister Iím going to the Bangalore air show in India to promote sales of the Eurofighter-Typhoon aircraft.

These remarkable aircraft will be one of the two fast jets in service with the Royal Air Force.† Last week I was up in the North West of England seeing these outstanding pieces of engineering being put together both for the UK and overseas customers.

Itís a real privilege to be able to use my position both as an elected MP and a Defence minister to promote UK manufacturing and engineering businesses.† We are so much better at making things - and we make so many more things Ė than the depressing conventional wisdom.

Iím really proud of UK manufacturing and I will always do my best to promote it at local, national or international levels.


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