The MoD should provide clarity to Clyde shipbuilders on the contract for the Type 26 Global Combat Ships as soon as possible, Transport and Veterans Minister Keith Brown has said.
While the design of the Type 26 Global Combat Ships is currently being undertaken at the Clyde, the MoD has not yet announced whether the ships will be built there and recently discussed the potential for joint work on future frigates with Australia.
During a discussion on the role of shipbuilding in an independent Scotland, Mr Brown called for the UK Government to provide answers on its current responsibilities, the continued reduction in shipbuilding expenditure and commit to workers on the Clyde.
Speaking at the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Union Mr Brown said:
“Our shipyards have world leading skills and facilities and this industry has played a vital role in making Scotland the country it is today.
“The men and women who work in these yards deserve urgent clarity from the MoD around the building of the Type 26 Global Combat Ships and their future job prospects.
“That is why I am urging the MoD to do the right thing and announce as a matter of urgency where these vessels will be built.
“In a time of economic difficulty for the MoD, it would not make financial sense for the Type 26 build programme started on the Clyde to be moved anywhere else. They should commit to the contracts with the Clyde and commit now.
“Furthermore, the UK Defence Secretary visited Australia in January where he made a commitment to explore collaboration on future frigate requirements. It simply makes no sense that the UK would be willing to work with a country on the other side of the globe, whilst refusing to collaborate with what would be its closest neighbour.
“The Scottish Government will always lobby to support Scottish jobs and we firmly believe that the Clyde will remain at the centre of the shipbuilding industry, supporting Scottish jobs and economic growth, for generations to come.”