SNP Defence Spokesman Welcomes news that Scottish Carrier Contracts could be Saved

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The SNP’s Defence Spokesman Angus Robertson has today welcomed news that the UK’s Defence Minister Liam Fox is proposing that the aircraft carrier contracts at Govan and Rosyth should continue.

The Scottish Government have been at the forefront of a campaign to preserve the contracts in order to ensure that up to 10,000 Scottish jobs are saved.


The SNP’s Defence Spokesman Angus Robertson has today welcomed news that the UK’s Defence Minister Liam Fox is proposing that the aircraft carrier contracts at Govan and Rosyth should continue.

The Scottish Government have been at the forefront of a campaign to preserve the contracts in order to ensure that up to 10,000 Scottish jobs are saved.

This week the Scottish Government met with leaders of the Holyrood opposition parties and Union representatives in order to ensure a united front in an attempt at defending Scottish defence jobs.  The meeting was convened by First Minister Alex Salmond after it emerged that BAE Systems had been asked to consider shelving one or both of the contracts.

The Financial Times has revealed that major rifts have developed between UK Ministers and defence chiefs over the UK Government’s strategic defence review.  Army chiefs are reported to be insisting that only one carrier be built whereas the Navy and Airforce representatives argue that the UK needs both carriers.  However the Defence Minister is understood to be favouring a continuation of both carrier contracts.

Angus Robertson MP welcomed indications that Defence Secretary Liam Fox is proposing to continue with plans for the new aircraft carriers and praised the co-operation between Scottish political parties.  Mr Robertson insisted that continued unity was vital to ensure Scottish jobs were safeguarded.

Mr Robertson said:
“The cross party co-operation and joint campaign in Scotland to safeguard the future of these carriers is vital, and is what can make the difference if we are going to maintain these jobs and skills on the Clyde.

“In the days and weeks ahead, the parties in Scotland must keep working together to ensure that the right decision is made on the future of these contracts.”

Mr Robertson also questioned the need to upgrade the Trident weapons system at the expense of conventional defence, adding:

“The defence review is about choices, and it is clear that conventional forces must come before continuing to waste billions on weapons of mass destruction like Trident. Even the Financial Times has now joined the ranks of those opposing the Trident renewal.

“As well as being strategically redundant, Trident is financially unaffordable – putting an enormous squeeze on those necessary and productive defence resources which support vital jobs and skills in the Scottish economy.”