Shipyard warning

SNP moves to dispel concern over Rosyth’s future

Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier
Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier built at Rosyth

SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald has moved swiftly to quell concerns that an independent Scotland would not support warship building at the Roysth Dockyard.

His reassurance followed comments by David Lockwood, chief executive of the yard’s owner Babcock, that operations could move to England if the company were not made welcome.

Mr Lockwood said the timescales around any future independence negotiations mean such a move, though not ideal, would be “manageable”.

Speaking after the Prime Minister visited the Fife shipyard on Monday and saw work being carried out on a Type 31 frigate for the Royal Navy, Mr Lockwood said: “If we had to replicate this in England because we were told we weren’t welcome here – which I think would be a bad mistake for Scotland – but if that were the decision, we can replicate this in three years.

“It’s not ideal but it is manageable.”

Mr McDonald responded to Mr Lockwood’s concerns by saying the Rosyth yard would be vital in an independent Scotland.

“Scotland’s defence sector provides thousands of high-quality apprenticeships and full-time skilled jobs to people across the country – a contribution that has always been, and always will be, welcomed in Scotland,” he said.

“An independent Scotland will be a key player in protecting our North Atlantic neighbourhood, and a thriving domestic defence sector – sourcing talent from the country’s highly-skilled workforce – will play a vital role in supporting that position.

“Babcock operates and is welcomed in many countries across the world – an independent Scotland will be no different.”



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