Bill Kidd MSP comments on Shipbuilding

Comments by BAE Systems Chairman Sir Roger Carr have been welcomed today as he warned of how undesirable it would be for a Westminster Government to choose not to build Royal Navy ships in Scotland.


Interviewed by the BBC's Robert Peston, Sir Roger Carr was asked about the implications Westminster refusing to procure ships from Scotland. Sir Roger Carr responded that "to say that they cannot be made there would create a completely different programme of manufacture which would have to be established elsewhere. That is cost, that is time, that is capability. And that is very undesirable for everyone."

Sir Roger Carr's comments come after BAE's head of the Type-26 frigate programme Geoff Searle said "all our plans are based on building ships in Glasgow."

Last week, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that work on the aircraft carriers would continue at Rosyth.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: "Sir Roger Carr is right to warn that a threat by Westminster not to procure Royal Navy ships from Scotland's yard would be 'very undesirable for everyone' – and that includes the Westminster Government.

"The Clyde isn't just the best place to build the warships the Royal Navy needs – it will soon be the only place in these islands following the decision to end shipbuilding in Portsmouth.

"The fact is that the skills and capabilities of Scotland's ship building sector are what will help them to continue to win work in Scotland.
"If the MoD can jointly design the Type-26 with Australia, then there is no reason at all why a joint procurement programme cannot see these ships built on the Clyde.

"That is the best option for everyone and is what will help to ensure that Scotland's ship building industry has a bright future ahead of it."

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