With the election just around the corner the Labour Party have today launched their manifesto.

At this election we hope all political parties will commit to working with industry to maximise global growth opportunities and deliver a stronger economy that builds on UK strengths in our wealth-creating sectors.

To ensure the UK’s future success ADS would like to see the next government:

  • Develop an ambitious Industrial Strategy that attracts global investment
  • Prioritise productivity by investing in supply chains
  • Invest in industrial innovation.
  • Enhance national security by investing in UK capability
  • Deliver a Brexit deal that sustains our global competitiveness

Over the coming days we’ll be summarising the main parties’ political manifestos and what the key points for the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries.

What did today’s Labour Party manifesto have to say on Industrial Strategy, Brexit and Defence?

Industrial Strategy

Labour are pledging an industrial strategy to support businesses to create new, high-skilled, high-paid and secure work across the country, in the sectors of the future such as renewables. They say this will be built on objective, measurable missions designed to address the great challenges of our times such as ensuring, by 2030, that 60% of energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources, we have highest proportion of high-skilled jobs in the OECD, and that the UK meets the OECD target of spending 3% of GDP on R&D.

Whilst the manifesto doesn’t provide a list of sectors it says it recognises certain sectors are of strategic significance to the UK – and, for each, Labour would establish a council modelled on Automotive Council to oversee the sector’s future security and growth.

  • Innovation: commit extra research investment and meet OECD target of 3% GDP on R&D; remove new plant and machinery from business rate calculations.
  • UK supply chains: target government support where there are gaps.
  • Skills: create a National Education Service for England.
  • Trade: International Trade White Paper; a new deal with Europe that puts jobs and the economy first.
  • Infrastructure: a National Transformation Fund will invest £250 billion over ten years (incl transport and digital infrastructure)
  • Procurement: put public spending power to use to upgrade economy, create good local jobs and reduce inequality; require firms to meet the best standards (incl paying suppliers on time and moving towards 20:1 gap between the highest and lowest paid)require the best standards on government contracts.


Labour say they will prioritise jobs and living standards, build a close new relationship with the EU, protect workers’ rights and environmental standards, provide certainty to EU nationals and give a meaningful role to Parliament throughout negotiations.

  • Introduce fresh negotiating priorities – with strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – and scrap the Conservative’s White Paper as well as introducing an International Trade White Paper.
  • Will reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option and if needs be negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’.
  • Negotiate to retain membership of the Common Aviation Area and Open Skies arrangement
  • Seeks to stay part of Horizon 2020 and its successor programmes (and welcome research staff to UK) as well as Europol.
  • End freedom of movement; new migration management systems based on our economic needs.


The manifesto contains a clear statement about the sector’s value to the UK and commits to publishing a Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper:

The UK defence industry is world-leading, and Labour will continue to support development and innovation in this sector and to ensure that it can continue to rely on a highly skilled workforce. We are committed to a procurement process that supports the British steel industry and defence manufacturing industry, which in turn provide good jobs throughout the supply chain. Labour will publish a Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper, including a National Shipbuilding Strategy to secure a long-term future for the industry, workers and UK defence.

  • SDSR: Labour would order a complete SDSR on coming into government to assess the emerging threats facing Britain, including hybrid and cyber warfare.
  • Defence spending: commit to spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
  • Trident: supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent; will lead efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear-free world.
  • Cyber security: will form an integral part of defence and security strategy; introduce a cyber-security charter for companies working with MoD.
  • Exports: recognises the importance of exports, trade and investment and how they play a vital role in creating jobs and growth; also that strong export controls play vital role in sustaining legitimate trade and will implement the Arms Trade Treaty to a consistently high standard.