"Shocking gaps in the UK defence capacity are emerging as a result of continued cuts… Having to utilise French ships because we have none of our own is inexcusable. Reports are now coming out that our new aircraft carriers could face further delays," Bill Etheridge said, as quoted on the UKIP website.
Etheridge said that having to use French ships in the absence of British ones was "inexcusable" and added that "heads should roll in defence procurement."
According to the UKIP statement, Etheridge made his remarks just as the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Canberra class landing helicopter dock ship Adelaide finished an exercise near Perth. The statement highlighted the RAN's growth, which stood in stark contrast to the Royal Navy that would have to use French-made helicopter carrier Mistral for a similar drill in May.