Referendum Answers

Short Answers to Popular Questions about Scottish Independence

Shipbuilding in Scotland

Q. Why should I vote for independence when it will result in the loss of Royal Navy contracts?

A. Because in fact the opposite will happen, and more ships will be built on the Clyde

Feelings are raw about this today (07.11.13) because over 1,700 people are to lose their jobs, and 835 of these are on the Clyde and the Forth. So of course people are wondering about the next navy frigate orders and whether they'll be built in Scotland if we vote Yes in September. So here are a few things to think about when you're poring over today's untruths in the Daily Record.

  • Shipbuilding in England will end with the closure of Portsmouth so the only place in the UK that BAE can build these ships is in Glasgow.
  • If Scotland becomes independent, Glasgow will still be the only place in the British Isles where BAE can build these ships.
  • It's not true that the UK builds ships only in the UK. Only this year, the MOD placed an order with a shipyard in Korea for four navy support vessels.
  • The UK is discussing joint development of the new Type 26 frigate with a foreign country (Australia)
  • It's not true that Scotland would have to 'compete' with other countries for this order. The EU Lisbon Treaty specifically provides an opt-out of open tendering for military orders
  • It's also not true that Portsmouth was 'sacrificed' to save the Union. BAE have been planning for the last two years to consolidate shipbuilding on the Clyde

Amid the scrabble between Scottish Labour MPs and media to paint this restructuring as a threat to Scotland's shipyards if we become independent, which it clearly isn't, they conveniently forget to mention that if we do become independent, they'd really, really like us to keep Trident at Faslane. So we'd be friendly enough to house their nuclear subs for a bit but not friendly enough to build a few warships?

And finally, when we do become independent, the new Scottish navy is going to need ships, including five Type 26 frigates. Where do you think these will be built?