COMMONS

New Contracts Needed Even Before Referendum Date

08 April 2013

The Scottish Affairs Committee today publishes the Government’s response to its report “The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Separation Shuts Shipyards”

Chair's comments

Commenting on the response, Ian Davidson MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"This statement makes it absolutely clear that the British Government want to retain the capacity to design and build complex warships within the United Kingdom and to use Clause 346 of the EU treaties to avoid putting such work out to international competition.

In these circumstances it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how the Clyde yards can have any long term future in a separate Scotland.

This problem, of the future of the Shipyards on the Clyde, is not however a problem that can be delayed until after Separation or indeed until after the Referendum. The Clyde yards will soon complete their allocated share of the aircraft carrier order and will therefore run out of work.
Immediate steps need to be taken, both to win new contracts and to secure the new investment necessary for future Royal Navy orders; otherwise there will be a speedy reduction in the workforce and the loss of a national asset.

Accordingly, I have arranged for the Scottish Affairs Committee to meet with Shop Stewards and Trade Unions, representing the workforce of the Clyde yards and Rosyth, on Monday the 8 April, when we will plan how best to work together to secure a future for shipbuilding in Scotland.

In its evidence to us the Electoral Commission called on both the UK and Scottish Governments to clearly and openly set out as much information as possible on all the issues involved in Separation, to allow the Scottish people to make a fully informed choice.

We believe that the Scottish Government must respect this view and immediately explain how it intends to guarantee a future for shipbuilding in Scotland both between now and any date of Separation and thereafter."

Further information

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