UK Defense Chief: Clyde Best for Shipbuilding
The U.K. Chief of Defense Staff said the Westminster government will "get our ships in the place it makes the most sense," blasting a hole in suggestions that if Scotland votes Yes then Glasgow would lose out on work to build the Type 26 ships.
Speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr program today, General Sir Nicholas Houghton said, "[The decision] was very much a matter of a business rationalization. In terms of raw business sense it makes sense the place where they have the greatest capacity and the best depth of skills - which is on the Clyde - so it is driven by a business decision.
"We live in a world now where it is not for the purposes of the defense budget to underwrite elements of industry. We will go and get our ships in the place where it makes the most sense for the British taxpayer in terms of getting the right capability for the armed forces."
The U.K. government and BAE Systems made clear its decision earlier this week was based on the fact Glasgow is "the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships".
Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell said, "This intervention holes the scaremongering of the No campaign below the waterline.
"General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the U.K. Chief of Defense Staff, has made clear that U.K. ships will be made in the 'place it makes most sense'.
"The Clyde is the best place for these ships to be built - indeed, with the end of shipbuilding at Portsmouth in 2014, it is the only place in these islands where they can be built - and that will not change after a Yes vote.
"That is because of the investment we’ve seen in these yards, because of the skill mix, and because of the Clyde's unrivalled experience and value for money.
"It is time for anti-independence politicians to stop peddling myths, when in fact it is under the Westminster system that shipbuilding jobs are being lost.
"The SNP Government will continue to do everything possible, in whatever constitutional circumstance, to support a long and viable future for Scotland's shipyards - it is time that the anti-independence parties pledged likewise."