During a visit to the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps highlighted the potential economic risks of Scottish independence on the UK’s military shipbuilding industry.

Myself and other journalists were invited to tag along and ask questions.

Speaking to Shapps in the ‘Robert Napier Building’, an office block within the shipyard, under the bow of the massive Type 26 frigate HMS Cardiff, I sought clarification on the shipyard’s future both within the UK and outside the UK.

I asked, “So, we’re sitting in front of the second of eight Type 26 Frigates. Now, once that programme is done, can Scottish builders count on future work on Type 83 or Type 32, and with Scottish independence once again a talking point, will this workforce come to Scotland from the UK Government if Scotland were to be independent?”

In his response, Shapps began by acknowledging the current state of shipbuilding in Glasgow, “This is a magnificent Type 26, HMS Cardiff, out the window behind us and I have just been having a look around some of the new build technology and the approach to building, it is fantastic.”

Shapps added, “I’ve actually just also come back from Australia a month or two ago, and the Osborne shipyard in Adelaide where they are building their Hunter version of the Type 26, and there’s a shed here called the Osborne, or location, where they’re learning backwards and bringing it in, some of the skills they’ve learned, into this programme here. So it’s already massive international collaboration, not just the Australians, but the Canadians too. Of course, we know there’s potentially other export markets as well or joint endeavours and joint ventures.”

Answering the question of whether Scottish shipyards can expect more work, Shapps told me, “So, I think my sense is, a really bright future for this shipyard and others in Scotland, sadly, all of which will be put at risk by some of the Scottish nationalist rhetoric, which seems to think that the 25,000 jobs which come from those who both work in the UK military, and are Scottish, and also who work in the industry.”

Turning to the broader implications for employment and economic investment, Shapps warned, “25,000 jobs a year in Scotland would be put at risk, 2 billion pounds and growing each year spent by the MOD building these types of things would be put at risk.”

Concluding, Shapps reflected on the personal impact on workers, particularly younger apprentices who are seeing significant benefits from their involvement in the shipbuilding industry. “I just met apprentices this morning, who tell me that their friends are envious of both the work that they do the sort of job titles that you end up with when you do some of this work, but also the pay. And often if they’re doing a degree apprenticeship or, or straight apprenticeship, the lack of debt to get this far as well. It’s an amazing opportunity and I think it’s something that Scotland is rightly proud of, and it’s a shame not all representatives feel the same way.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mark B
Mark B (@guest_820840)
1 month ago

You don’t miss things until they are gone.

First independence is not happening anytime soon.

Second with independence means a loss of RN shipbuilding regardless of who is in power and a shift in location of forces especially if Scotland does not immediately join NATO.

This subject is getting boring😀

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820853)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

the bottomless pit that is the budget sapping Clyde has been given billions over the years to exist, if it had been invested in other yards and companies around to U.K might have seen more option and places where the needs of the RN could have been better .met

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_820871)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Perhaps it is not too late. England is not short of places near the sea. The decisive thing is modernising ship building. How long before we see the first ship built in the main by robots 24/7. 😮.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820916)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

they already do it with cars so the days of automated shipbuilding might not be that far away. at least things might be built faster. after all the first battleship Dreadnaught was built in Pompey in a calendar year, and that was with rivets!

dc647
dc647 (@guest_820891)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

It went to Scotland to curry favour with the SNP at a time when independence idiotic thoughts were high.

Mark
Mark (@guest_821032)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

We should just start clearing up some of the older sites with In England that once built ships….. Send a strong message to Scotland and it’s party that is pushing for independence …. We could offer the Scottish work force to come south of the border….. Just make the message that we will move to England very Strong…. Luckily BAE is a huge employer of Scottish people…. Even The EU don’t want Scotland Independent because they will have to subsidize Billions…..

Tams
Tams (@guest_820862)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Unfortunately, we need to keep hammering on about it to counter the delusional cybernats.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_820866)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

I’m not sure they haven’t defeated themselves.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820917)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

good point

Jim
Jim (@guest_820877)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Problem is you have English Nationalists like Andy Reeves above or Grant Shapps that want to cloth themselves in the Union Jack and can’t stand to loose the SNP as a rallying cry then you have click bate journalists who love to through the independence and ship building bomb every second Wednesday when the clicks start to run slow.

Absolutely no one it’s talking about independence in Scotland, the only person talking a bit independence in Grant Shapps when he comes to Scotland.

Marked
Marked (@guest_820961)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

That would be nice 👍

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820977)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

agreed 👍🍺🍺

Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_821637)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

The even more delusional unionists are not looking at things holistically. A handful of jobs as the sole justification for remaining tied and ignoring the many other benefits is not a very good reason.

Jim
Jim (@guest_820873)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

That author says independence is a talking point once again, that’s a bare faced lie. Latest polls put labour 10% ahead of the SNP. This is nothing but click bate again and support for a Tory Defence Secretary who has been proved non numerous occasion to be a liar.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820913)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think Scotland should be given independence on the condition that they take northern Ireland and Wales with them and that the constant bringing up of the subject will be done with once and for all.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andy reeves
Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820851)
1 month ago

I’d love to see Scotland given it’s independence. if only to stop being reminded of the issue so often. I’d be especially happy if they could take northern Ireland with them English independence is what id really love to see. but if course it will never happen in our lifetimes.

Jim
Jim (@guest_820880)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Andy we all know you want English independence, there is a political party for that, I suggest you join and also drop that Union Jack of the corner of your flag.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820920)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

I served ( unlike you) for 22 years under a flag with a union jack in the corner of it. in 1982 I fought under it for the likes of ungrateful plug headed sanctimonious fools like you. what have you to say to that?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820921)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

i suggest you shut up and go to a trainspotting site where people will even look at your sanctimonious drivel.

Grumpy old man
Grumpy old man (@guest_820946)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Your 100% correct

GR
GR (@guest_820981)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Personally, it would take more than the existence of a minority of nationalist pratts to make me want to unravel the country.

John
John (@guest_820868)
1 month ago

That thing again. The thing that will never happen.

Marked
Marked (@guest_820882)
1 month ago

Is there a never ending echo?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_820922)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

ignore Jim he’s a troll

Marked
Marked (@guest_820962)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

A couple like him on here, who would argue anything just to massage their ego and try to make themselves look like the fountain of all knowledge.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_820956)
1 month ago

Yawn…

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821189)
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

true agreed 100 percent they should use trainspotting sites where they’ll be exposed again hardly anyone in here has been in the services they’re an embarrassment to the few that have.and should take their internet based bullshit

David
David (@guest_820959)
1 month ago

Increasing automation in shipbuilding means that older more traditional shipbuilding countries who lost business to Turkey or China will be able to re-enter the market. On its own, I don’t see Scotland having the government or private resources to do so. To outsiders, the SNP independence goal is puzzling on many fronts. Certainly be much cheaper to replace the House of Lords with an upper chamber with equal representation from four nations – that gives a valuable voice to everyone.

geoff
geoff (@guest_821081)
1 month ago

The breakup of the UK would harm us all and only serve our enemies
“Scatter his enemies…confound their politics…”
Whatever happens in the future I hope the UK prevails. I want the Union Jack on my coffin 😉

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821190)
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

I want the royal navy navy ensign onn mine, after 22 years I think I’ve earned it.

geoff
geoff (@guest_821371)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Absolutely Andy!💪

Robert O'Raw
Robert O'Raw (@guest_821325)
1 month ago

Why is Clydeside and Scotland still building ships in the open. After the war Germany invested in large building indoor canopies so production was not delayed by the weather, paid by American loans at 1.5% interest, UK investment loan rate in 1948 approx 12% without proper investment the UK shipbuilding will always be a joke. Observation of Cowboy Robert born 1944.

DONALD MACLEOD
DONALD MACLEOD (@guest_821367)
1 month ago

It is disappointing that Grant Shapps gave such a vague answer to Mr. Allison’s enquiry. There is a compelling reason why these jobs would be put at risk if Scotland were to become an independent country. In such an event, a correspondingly independent Westminster government would have no way of enforcing the Official Secrets Act in Scotland. Moreover, how could it ever trust a nationalist government in Edinburgh on intelligence and security matters after Alex Salmond’s disgraceful flirtation with “Russia Today”? Do we seriously think for one moment that such considerations are not taken into account by the MoD and… Read more »

Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_821635)
1 month ago

Not many people on here, look at the facts and consider what they all mean! We all already know, and it has been said time and time again, is that if Scotland were independent then yes quite patently obviously Royal Navy ship orders would probably not be given to Scotland. So why keep repeating this same old trope? There is warship building and non RN ship building, the two are not the same. Keeping access to RN orders is hardly a good reason to remain tied to Westminster’s interests, as there are much bigger things at stake. The other facts… Read more »