The SNP manifesto has made an incorrect claim regarding shipbuilding in Scotland.

This article is part of a series looking at the manifesto claims made by the main parties in the run up to the 2019 General Election.

The Claim: “Before the referendum, the No campaign promised contracts for 13 Type-26 frigates to be built in Govan and Scotstoun shipyards. Now only 8 such frigates are to be built, and only some of the work on these ships will come to Scotland.”

The Reality: 13 Type 26 Frigates were promised to Scottish yards. In 2015, the Ministry of Defence changed plans, replacing five of the general purpose Type 26 frigates with five Type 31e Frigates. In addition, Five River class Offshore Patrol Ships were ordered to sustain the workforce until the Type 26 Frigate build started. Essentially, it went from 13 ships at one yard to 18 ships over two yards. In addition, all of the building work on the Type 26 Frigate is being done in Scotland despite the claim “only some of the work” is being done in Scotland.

Verdict: It’s more work, for more locations and for more workers.

Additionally, the manifesto also apparently precludes yards in an independent Scotland building Royal Navy vessels.

What are Scottish shipyards building?

Click to enlarge.

Why did the plan change from 13 Type 26 Frigates to 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31e Frigates?

The MoD is hoping to reduce its reliance on BAE and cut the costs of procurement by spreading shipbuilding work across other naval yards. To this end, the government are implementing the results of an independent report into the National Shipbuilding Strategy by Sir John Parker which recommended that the Type 31 Frigate build be done elsewhere.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy was intended to be a “radical, fundamental re-appraisal of how we undertake the shipbuilding enterprise in the UK, intending to place UK naval shipbuilding on a sustainable long term footing.”

BAE on the Clyde is to build the Type 26, Babcock at Rosyth is to build the Type 31e.

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peter french

Well you can all ways trust the SNP to bend the facts to suit their purposes.
What is it “fake news” as Trump would claim

Andy P

She grates, really grates but I’m not sure she tells any more porkies than the other politicians.

For those who aren’t aware, come next March things are going to get a lot more interesting for the SNP.

I’ll be breaking out the popcorn for this one, I can’t wait to see how they handle it……


“We will also fight for the delivery of all contracts for Royal Navy Fleet Support Ships to be restricted to UK shipyards.”

So if the order goes to H&W and / or Camell Laird there will be no complaints or accussations of betrayal then! That’s wonderful news!

John Pattullo

considering she wants to leave the uk then the work definitely wont go to scottish yards – i’m scottish and i loath that woman


As a Scotsman, have you seen much of an appetite for independence among your community? Down south the only news we really get out of Scotland is the SNP screaming about independence or occasionally criticising everyone else

Peter Shaw

John I can’t stand Sturgeon either. I have a deep respect for Scotland and its people. I just can’t understand why many are taken in by her and her lies. The UK is strong because we have four countries working together for the greater good. The Enlightenment happened first in Scotland and spread to the England, Wales and Ireland afterwards; demonstrating how each of the four nations have learnt from one another. Scottish engineers have been some of the finest in the UK as well Scottish troops, sailors and aircrew. I think we need to talk up all the things… Read more »


True though I suspect that Boris will make the damage, especially perceived in Scotland with her stoking the flames, irreparable.

Gavin Gordon

I’m prepared to concede that the groundswell probably transcends Nichola Sturgeon. We have a similar issue in the ‘rump’ UK.


Yet every poll that asks the English population if they would drop Northern Ireland and Scotland if they got in the way of Brexit, or would they put the political union of the UK first ? The answer comes back that they would drop Scotland and Northern Ireland like a stone.
Seems like the unquestioning Unionist loyalty only works one way.

George duncan

This is probably the simplest and most sensible statement I have read in a long time. Well said Mr Shaw.


Those endless little smug chuckles that she intersperses into her condescending rhetoric on serious matters is truly crass. So glad my great grandparents moved south… to build ships as it happened.

John Pattullo

if she does get her independence then i will have to seriously consider moving south – scotland will be bankrupt in no time flat – just worried about who would buy me out :/

Mr Bell

You might want to roll the dice and move south now then. Currently I would say about 40% chance Scotland will get a 2nd indyref and if they do vote to leave. I agree Scotland will be bankrupt. I see whilst extolling the virtues of independence Sturgeon is asking rUK for £4billion more for its failing NHS. An NHS that is firmly financed, controlled, implemented by her government. That’s how crazy she is. Blame Westminster for her government’s failure to fund Scotlands NHS properly, then ask rUK for another £4billion a year. No Sturgeon if the Scottish NHS needs another… Read more »


Don’t think H&W could even build a ship nowadays, 200 employees left specialising in offshore wind turbines.


H&W’s new owners have signed a joint something or other with Navantia and BMT to built the 3 MARS ships. They have the facilities, I assume Navantia and BMT will bring in most of their people from across Spain and the UK to build them.


They just need to win the contract 😉

Mr Bell

They absolutely should win the contract 100% literally no way should this go north to Scotland under current climate of their majority SNP voted for government wanting to leave the United Kingdom


They have already started recruiting. Some people I know are going to H&W to start sorting the yard out for future work


That is what happens in the construction industry. How many Neclear Power Station builders do you think lived in Somerset? Suddley thousands of them are busily burying a large chunk of Hinkley Point in zast amounts of concrete! There are some industries where you have always had to travel to the next job – construction is the obvious one – but other industries are having to look closely at the model as well now. I think ship building in the UK will need to work in that way from now on, at least in part, because of the different types… Read more »


My support for the Union has a broad base-part from the head and much of the heart. The SNP’s complaints regarding a perceived reduction in the amount of RN work allocated to Scottish yards is strange as they must know that an Independent Scotland would lose future Royal Navy work in the event of Independence so a proverbial case of having and eating cake?! But back to my heart/head point above-my gut feel is that for most of those Scots who support Independence, it is of the heart. The economic case for/against Independence can be well argued from both sides.… Read more »


I don’t think that level of devolution would be practically achievable, it sounds like Independent Scotland but represented by the UK. That doesn’t work if Scotland is following a radically different path (EU, different trade policy, tax system, etc).

Independent Scots would likely still be free to join HM armed forces though, in the same way that Commonwealth citizens and Gurkhas serve.


You are right it is from the heart and the idea of difference over superficial reality. There are differences through these isles but ironically the one that fuels it most is a myth which is the concept of Celtic heritage. Firstly no one is Celtic on these islands it’s purely has its origin in a description of artefacts from a tribe first discovered in Austria by a Victorian archeologist that had wider artistic influence beyond (similar to that of the Romans after them) and wrongly thereafter given a genetic relevance. Equally the genetics of these islands ignoring modern immigration are… Read more »

Gavin Gordon

Also strange as non allocated to anyone else at all!

Peter Shaw

Aren’t Scottish people getting tired of the whingy SNP? I mean come on Sturgeon is just the most horrendous lady I have ever heard full of lies and hatred of England and the UK. She got skewered by Andrew Neil on many of her false claims and lies. For god sake Scotland wake up and realise that they are trying to divide the regions and countries in the UK. I truly believe the nations within the UK are stronger together. The UK will be diminished by Scotland leaving and vice versa. We fought many of the tyrants of Europe together… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Well said Peter.


THE SNP have benefited from a crass and corrupt Scottish Labour Party.

Mr Bell

Excellent Peter totally agree. Come on Scotland wake up and vote wee Jimmy Cranky out of office. She is a lying, twisted, full of hatred individual.

Robert wilson

Why dont you vote for English independence
After all UK goverment apparently supports Scotland who goes cap in hand to Westminister if the Tory lies are to for a lier, you need look further than Borris. As for A Andrew Neil, an obnoxious interviewer, who doesn’t let the person reply, at least Nicola had the courage to face him, unlike Boris who hides behind Gove then his father. More than 50% of the Scottish population are no longer taken in by the TORY LIES, read the international news to get a clearer perspective of what happening in Britian


Bring back all RN shipbuilding and trident to England. That is the only way we can guarantee assets for the Royal Navy being in secure hands and not subject to a foreign power, which Scotland will be in a few years time.


I wonder where Trident would/could go?


Well Trident needs specific treatment which is not in England. The technology is USA based so we could potentially use the USA base until we could rebuild a new port in England. We test fire off the USA already. It is clear though that the SNP are and will continue to use the UK’s last line of defence as a football. The UK’s nuclear deterrent needs removing from the agenda and bringing to a safe haven, in England.

Mr Bell

I think Peter is unfortunately right. If Scotland voted for independence, totally agree entirely of UK armed forces should be withdrawn. Give the Scots 12-24 of the batch 1 Eurofighters and the batch 1 river class and say goodbye to everything else.
All ship building comes south of the border. Trident can be based on east coast of USA rather than scrapped, until a new uk base established. Cornwall is the most obvious location or North East coast of England?


It would take time to build a new trident facility, so USA east coast good start but with my limited understanding Cornwall would seem to be the best place. Easy access to deep water and the western oceans. North Sea maybe too shallow and may allow subs to be too easily tracked. Scotland represents around 7% of population so offer of typhoons is about right. Scottish regiments and personnel would stay. New snp led Scots can fund it own defence. Be interesting to see if some of the outer isles would want to be independent.

Matt C

As a Scotsman told me: “All smells a bit fishy to me!”

Gavin Gordon

It must feel like groundhog day, George, the number of times you’ve had to say this. I’m beginning to suspect that the SNP does not read UKDJ.
The situation must feel very much the same for both Bae and, pointedly, the shipbuilding unions – who are now in the surreal position of having a left-leaning political party constantly undermining them. I’m also beginning to suspect that the SDP are more interested in independence that any other issue on Earth.
Perhaps I’m slow?

Gavin Gordon

Ah, yes I am – SDP?


Whatever the SNP claim, they still referred to the carriers as England’s business.

Geoffrey Roach

The best thing any Scot can do is stop the woman in her tracks.She drives me crazy with her outlandish claims. As I have mentioned before I am a Cornish Irish Welshmen living in England and I really do not see how Scotland or Wales ( yes,there at it now as well , can stand alone. If all the bases north of the border are closed, if Trident ( with her Labour pals ) is scrapped and ship building is stopped it will be a disaster. Unemployment will soar with businesses going to the wall by the score. In passing,… Read more »

James Brockham

You must differentiate between manufacturing (making) and assembling (putting the bits together). Most of the ‘bits’ of the new frigates are not manufactured in the U.K., let alone Scotland; not even all of the steel for the hull is manufactured (made) in the U.K. and neither are most of the valuable bits. These ships being only assembled on Clydeside. The same applies to, for example, the Boxer vehicles ordered for the UK army. BAE Systems is not a British-owned firm (over 50% of shareholders are non-UK). It is a multinational-owned multinational-operating business with independent operating units worldwide. When these global… Read more »

700 Glengarried Men

Let’s be clear the SNP are a party of grievances directed at separating Scotland from the UK. They need to pedal myths and half truths to their core support and also create animosity between Scots and rest of UK, type of thing you see on here from time to time, Any person who works in BAE or Rosyth knows exactly what the jobs situation would be after indy.

Mr Bell

A few years ago, before last indyref, there was an interesting report in the FT from core businesses preperation in case of Independence. In essence all the big investment houses and banks would pull out between £100 and £200 billion in investment, withdraw and close their businesses north of the border leading to 150,000 job loses within a year. Not to mention shipbuilding and all its ripple down business loses, then rUK withdrawing armed forces. I think a conservative estimate of 250,000 job loses is easily likely. Who would be to blame ?- the SNP. Who will have to fund… Read more »

Andy P

In fairness Mr Bell, people with a vested interest can use their position to try and influence things their way. What business (or politicians etc) say and what they do can be two different things and changeable. Business will follow the money and if (a big IF) an independent Scotland made it worthwhile for business then they would be there like a tramp on chips. Saying that….. the only way Scotland would be independent would be under the SNP and I would hazard a guess that they would win a ‘post indy’ election as they would be riding the crest… Read more »


Banks would drop south to London. Edinburgh would have no appeal; a country using another’s currency ie. Scotland with the UK’s pound, would be unable to control interest rates so a vassal state. So Edinburgh as a finance centre gone, Glasgow as a shipbuilder gone. Leaves shortcake, tunnocks, whisky, tartan and smoked salmon with the odd grouse shoot. Ouch aye OH NO ?

Andy P

Banks ‘might’ go south, who knows. Are the banks going to leave London after Brexit ?

Honestly, the way some go on about ship building on here you’d think it was the cornerstone of the Scottish economy and as for the rest… jings and crivens, we’re doooooomed…. Apparently.

I can understand why some Scots get hacked off enough to vote for the SNP.


We are stronger together & it’s good to read that fact in the comments on this site, people might be sick of hearing about Brexit but not half as much as I’m sick of people talking up the brake up of this precious UNITED KINGDOM of which I am extremely proud off.


“Truth” and “The SNP”, two things that will never be bed fellows…


They probably get away with the argument that “not all of the work” will be done in Scotland because the drivetrain and suchlike are manufactured in other parts of the UK. Which is technically true, but utterly disingenuous because Scotland has zero facility for these articles and would never have made them on the originally “promised” 13 T26 either.

John Clark

If the predicted Tory majority happens and Boris refuses another referendum, the support for the SNP will grow exponentially, as they scream ‘Scotland the brave’ and whip support up to a fever pitch… If I was Boris, I would be tempted to let them have their referendum. After BREXIT, the SNP’s independance position will become untenable and unravel. It will become apparent that it would take years for Scotland to join the EU, if they are accepted at all. I personally feel the EU would prefer to work with a complete British Union. The EU will want to move to… Read more »


I am pro-Union, but I think the Scots deserve another vote once the Brexit deal has been clarified/agreed and the options of future Scottish relationships are accurately scoped. They are their own country within a union after all, and they voted remain. It’s only fair that they therefore get a vote on whether they want to stay part of a union of countries which has gone against their own choice in such a significant vote. Having said that, I agree with all of what you say about what is likely to happen; Their terms of leaving the UK and then… Read more »

John Clark

I absolutely agree with you Joe, let the Scots have second referendum, I would prefer the Union remains intact, but the SNP’s constant ‘Hate the English’ campaign is rubbing off on me and I find myself caring less and less to be honest…

After all the rest of us will be better off….