However, following a briefing with General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff, and other senior staff on Salisbury Plain, Mr Shapps said: “Today I was talking about eventually bringing training closer together and, indeed, also Ukraine”.
He added: “Particularly in the west of the country, I think the opportunity now is to bring more things ‘into the country’, and not just training, but we are also seeing BAE [the UK defence firm]for example, moving to domestic manufacturing, for example.
“I really want to see other British companies also do their bit by doing the same. So I think there will be a movement to get more training and production in the country.”
Separately, having assured Zelensky on Wednesday that the UK “will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine”, Shapps suggested Britain was preparing to play a more active role in helping the country defend itself from attacks in the Sea Black, where Russia has been increasingly attacking cargo ships carrying grain.
Shapps, who replaced Ben Wallace as defense secretary in a mini reshuffle a month ago, said: “We have seen in the last month developments, really the first since 2014, in the Black Sea, in Crimea, and Britain. It is a naval nation, so we can help and advise, especially since the water is international water.
“It is important that we do not allow it to be established by default that somehow international shipping is not allowed in those waters. That’s why I think there are many places where Britain can help advise. [I] “We discussed it with President Zelensky and many others this week.”