First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has slammed the Tory Govt at Westminster after news emerged that more promises made to Clyde shipbuilders during the 2014 Indyref were to be broken.
The SNP leader described news that military ships are to be put out to international tender instead of automatically coming to Scottish yards, as a “blatant betrayal”.
According to the Daily Record newspaper, contract work worth £1bn is to be made available to international tenders instead of going directly to the Scottish yards. The newspaper claims thousands of jobs are now at risk as a result.
Responding to a question at First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is work that was promised to the Clyde and this is work that very definitely should go to the Clyde.
“We should be very clear, what we are now seeing develop around this work and the future of the shipyards is nothing short of a blatant betrayal of Scottish shipyards.”
Highlighting the pledges made by Unionist parties during the independence referendum, the FM added: “Promises were made to those yards by the Tories, indeed by all the Unionist parties during the referendum.
“They were told there were promises of work for years to come, and they specifically said that Scotland, if it became independent, would not be able to secure that work for the Clyde because contracts couldn’t go to ‘foreign countries’.
“So this is an absolute betrayal and I would hope we will hear all parties across this chamber stand up for shipbuilding on the Clyde.”
Claims from pro-Union politicians that a newly independent Scotlnd would be blocked from being automatically awarded Royal Navy contracts featured widely during the Indyref camapign. The issue featured prominenty in BBC Scotland’s news coverage at the time.
Unionists pledged billions of pounds of contracts would come to Scottish shipyards if voters rejected independence. A so-called frigate factory was also pledged with at least thirteen Type 26 frigates guaranteed. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged evem more ships when challenged on the issue in 2015.
The Type 26 contract was subsequently reduced from thirteen to eight, with five Tyoe 31 frigates replacing the larger vessels. However in October last year it emerged that BAE Systems, the owners of the Govan and Scotstoun yards, had entered into an agreement with Cammell Laird. The partnership meant that the Type 31s would not be going to the Scottish yards.
This latest bombshell means that currently only three Type 26 frigates are guaranteed to be built on the Clyde. There is also not going to be any frigate-factory.
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