At the start of the month I asked the UK Government how many shipbuilding jobs will be supported by construction of the fleet that will replace the outgoing Type 23 Frigates.
During the referendum campaign the UK Government promised that 13 Type-26 Frigates would be constructed to replace the Royal Navy’s aging frigate fleet. The Secretary of State for Defence later confirmed that only 8 on the Type-26 would definitely be ordered.
In response to my written question it has since been revealed that the UK Government does not know how many shipbuilding jobs will be sustained by the construction of the Type-26 Frigate. This revelation, that the UK Government doesn’t actually know how many jobs will be secured by the new frigate programme, will cause great concern for shipbuilders on the Clyde.
During the referendum we heard time and time again that shipbuilding jobs and contracts would only be safe if we stayed within the union. As we have seen with HMRC job losses this is yet more evidence that Westminster cannot keep the promises they made to the Scottish people just over a year ago.
The UK Government gave Clyde shipbuilders a clear pledge of 13 Type-26 Frigates, but the response to my written question shows that shipbuilders are right to be sceptical about Westminster’s empty promises.
This lack of certainty can be sharply contrasted with the action of the Scottish Government, whose financial assistance has led to the creation of sustainable employment at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.