A Member of Parliament has incorrectly claimed that there are no Royal Navy vessels in Scottish waters, despite the presence of frigates, submarines, support vessels, patrol vessels and of course, a major Royal Navy base on the Clyde.

With a sensational slip of the tongue this MP has dismissed close to 20 vessels and over 100,000 tonnes of shipping.

Pictured above is a submarine and frigate engaged in an exercise near the Firth of Clyde, which by the way, is in Scotland.

In fact, why not have a look for yourself? Note that some naval vessels may not be visible if they turn off the system that allows for them to show up on this real time map, however many are still visible.

Royal Navy Vanguard Class submarine HMS Vigilant on the Clyde.

Alan Brown, Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, is the SNP Westminister spokesperson on Transports, Infrastructure and Energy. Brown asked during an Oral Answers to Questions session on Defence in the House of Commons, on the 26th November:

“If we look at the here and now, the Defence Committee report, ‘On Thin Ice: UK Defence in the Arctic,’ confirms that the UK should focus more on its operability and presence in the Arctic. Right now, there are currently no Royal Navy vessels in Scottish waters and no indication of any resources being applied. Should not the Minister be doing more to protect Scottish waters?”

HMS Penzance (pictured here leaving Faslane) and other ships of her class carry one 30mm gun and two smaller machine guns to deal with armed threats.

Mark Lancaster, The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, replied:

“Let us be clear, there are lots of Royal Navy vessels in United Kingdom waters and, of course, any implementation of a Scottish strategy would be done within the realms of a United Kingdom strategy. I am pleased to say that earlier this year, for example, I visited HMS Trenchant on ICEX, in which it was the first British submarine in over 10 years to serve under the ice. Only this year we have had Royal Marines training in Norway. That will continue year on year, and they are training US marines. I am quite comfortable, and I am grateful for the Defence Committee’s report, ‘On Thin Ice’ as a result of which our activity is increasing.”

HMS Astute and HMS St Alban’s off the West coast.

It should be noted that as we speak, there are British frigates, nuclear submarines, minesweepers, patrol vessels, auxiliary vessels, and even a survey vessel in Scottish waters.

The claim that there are no Royal Navy vessels in Scottish waters is categorically incorrect.

Let’s not forget that Faslane is home to a number of platforms, from patrol boats to nuclear submarines.



  1. When I see ‘a SNP spokesperson has said’… I generally get comfortable and bring out the popcorn. Bunch of pillocks.

  2. SNP spouting whoppers to have a moan about depived Scotland isn’t, how not very novel.
    I think I might have been slightly more sarcastic in my response to the MP.

  3. The snp are total and utter wallopers , they are the most idiotic lying ,self serving bunch of parasites (almost) ever to hold public office. Ignorant of facts delusional on what the sane MAJORITY in Scotland want and who I’m confident none of their politburo would be able to tell the difference between an F16 or an M16. So no surprise when they make intentional false claims like this.

  4. The SNP seem to be at the forefront of politicians who are willing to talk bollocks, safe in the knowledge that once their gullible followers have swallowed whatever it is they’re shoveling, the fact check will be lost in the ether and the message, no matter how absurd, will be accepted as true.

  5. Scotland does well from UK defence in general and the Navy in particular. All this stuff is just normal Nat grievance politics. They’re like the chick in the nest with the biggest mouth when it’s feeding time. Surely most of their supporters know this but the others who’s votes they need to win an indyref don’t. So what will happen when they do realise ? Well by then Scotland will be independent/free.

    • and good riddance too, they’d be back soon enough when they’re bankrupt and everyone has crofts to live in all a bit sad,……NOT.

  6. This is the same party that does nothing but complain about there being naval ships in Scotland because they say it makes them a target!

  7. Hi folks hope all are well,
    Yes had to have a laugh at the statement. Of course once more the SNP have added one more silly comment to a list of matters that are not correct. It does begger believe that the SNP member can make such a comment. He must be thinking of a future of an independent Scotland where there will be little or no warships of significance under the SNPs defence plans.
    All the best,

  8. I can’t believe, anyone with any navy knowledge knows that there are vessels frequently in Scottish waters. We have our nuclear subs based there but we hardly raise the flag and sing as they come and go, they are a deterrent after all. Put this man in the bin along with Donald Trump

  9. The SNP policy is to spread disinformation like this because once out in the wild and on the Internet their supporters will believe it without question. Sadly the disinformation outruns any facts that disprove it.

  10. Sadly it has to be said that anyone who believes all the bull the SNP bring out (fake news folks) deserves to vote for independence. Then we shall see how they fare away from the Bossom of the rUK keeping Scotland propped up.
    Anyone in Scotland who reads this site, please please please spread the word. The SNP are deluded liars.

  11. It is not only the SNP pollies that know nothing about the Navy, pick a politician, any politician and you will probably come up with the same answer. They are all a bunch of pillocks.

  12. Why is the RN not more visible around the shores of the whole UK? It would be great to see, for example, a Type 45 or even a Type 23 or two from the North Bay in Scarborough from time to time. And think of the good that would do for recruitment. The boys and girls on the beach would be entranced. Me too! No wonder our politicos are “sea blind”. And when I was a lad we saw loads of RAF planes where I lived. Don’t see or hear much in North Yorkshire these days.

  13. Yet we have democratic SNP Government in Edinburgh for what their third term and are increasingly popular, and are third biggest party in the UK. But of course, you won’t know this been subjected to the uk media bias.

    So please all you union jackers/little ingerlanders please take your nuclear subs away and park them up the Thames or somewhere. You are welcome to them. Good luck with Theresa – the chicken maybot, that never answers a question and never appears in public apart from in front of friends at very staged meetings and visits, and all her big business pals.

    • Lol increasingly popular ? Afraid not they lost about 15 seats at Westminster last time and can only pass legislation and their budget in Hollywood (that’s right the propaganda centre spelt correct) with support of the lunatic fringe greens lol no I’m afraid like all political bandwagons the snp are on the way out of power up here . Dunno what delusional reality you live in but I’ve yet to ever speak to someone who was upset at the Royal Navy having nuclear subs based at faslane. Ha ha day in your life doon the shops 1st person you meet “och DL those affy affy Vanguard submarines with their scary Trident missiles I just canny sleep at night knowing the government are spending money on our defence” hid yer wheesht min the very words Trident cause me to tremble. Nope thankfully we Scots (THE MAJORITY) reject the yellow peril and their looney tunes propaganda. In the words of Mr T “I pity the fool”

      • I’m Scottish and I agree, the last elections proved it, the SNP lost lots of seats, we have a bit to go before they are gone but it’s a start. And I also know no knee bothered by the huge naval base on the Clyde with those big bombs. It’s being made even bigger and millions spent Housing all UK submarines. We need to keep rosy the it’s the only east coast naval base of sorts, but it’s closing soon!

      • And before her it was Alex SALMONd as leader, we have to stop electing dam slippery fish! 🐟 as leaders!!. But we do get better benefits in Scotland though like free university and eryone gets free prescriptions ect, but that’s blown away by the snp independent movement bullcrap! And the pro EU crap.

    • Oh dear DL
      the posts have touched a nerve, it seems that you are content with being represented by a rather stupid MP who makes statements with out any bearing in fact. Mr Trump would be delighted with Mr Brown. Its strange really that he and oher SNP MP,s seem to conjure imagined facts out of the ether and expect to get away with it. There are of course other Mp,s who have the same habit but the SNP attract more than most

  14. True, the only time I have seen a Type 45 outside Portsmouth was in Crete- but with the fleet stretched so thin, other duties must take precedence over public relations.

    • Would it not make sense to defend your own country rather than go to Asia where HMS Albion has just spent a 10 month deployment?

      • the main problem with albion is that is a naval ship with no means of defending itself, utter madness imagine the headline ‘ major unarmed navy warship sunk hundreds lost ‘who’d answer to that one?

      • I am disappointed with your juvenile thinking!
        UK has a role in the upholding of the International Rule of Law, as being a permanent UNSC member. The UK works in cooperation with regional allies in Asia.

  15. I don’t have a lot of time for the bellicose SNP who by all accounts are making a right pigs ear of their devolved government of Scotland. That said, IMO they one valid point: if the Union is a union of nations then the when it comes to voting to leave the EU the Scottish national vote has equal weight to the English national vote. Might is not necessarily right.

    • NO. We (in Scotland) had a referendum on independence and voted to remain part of the UK. That means accepting the results of majority UK votes like the EU referendum. The percentage of Scots wanting to stay in the EU is irrelevant.

  16. I for one am tired of the Scots fastening all the worlds problems on the evil English. The SNP are of course the most small-minded in this regard but it’s much more general than that. The majority have some level of dislike and will find a grievance if they possibly can. You reap what you sow: If there were a vote for English people on the matter, I would vote to part ways with Scotland and wish them farewell and all the best. Oh and there are plenty of shipyard workers in England who are struggling to make ends meet for whom the current pork barrel polictics are downright unfair.

    • OOA
      Very disappointed to read your comments.
      As a Scot living in Scotland, I do not dislike the English -nor indeed harbour any grievance about any of the people with whom we share these islands. And I believe I’m not an untypical Scot in that regard.
      With that reassurance in mind, can I wish you a very happy New Year and prosperous 2019.

      • Alan Reid
        Thanks for the nice comment but put yourself in us English shoes for a mo
        All we hear and keep hearing is the threats of another referendum on independence and to be honest it gets up our noses
        Yes its the SNP that keeps on about it all the time
        I live in S West Wales and even these people are feed up with it let alone us English
        I have some good friends who live in beautiful Scotland and not one that i know of talk of independence
        I know you dont like the Tories but a lot here dont aether
        My suggestion is to vote for maybe a new party that represents the majority of the people in Scotland who want to remain in the Union and do for Scotland as the SNP is doing but without the continued threat of independence

  17. Other than the SSBNs, SSNs and two patrol boats based at Faslane, I’m not aware of any RN surface ships based in or routinely in Scottish waters. I don’t think there is a River OPV either. One of the reasons why is perhaps that the Scottish government, like the rest of the UK, has civilian-manned fishery protection and border patrol vessels, which perform the basic OPV function. A couple of these are quite large, 3000t-ish, I saw them in Leith and they looked quite impressive.

    The whole offshore patrol/border security business looks a bit of a shambles, with the Coast Guard supplying some ships/boats, the Ministry of Ag and Fish supplying others, the Home Office? funding and I think running the supposed border guard vessels, the SAR helis privatised and run by Bristow, at some cost, the RN contributing 3 Rivers and the good old voluntary RNLI doing a lot of the real work.

    In the USA, the Coastguard does all that stuff, I think under the overall command of the USN. Here, the RN has been increasingly reluctant to take on the role, which has led to this plethora of civilian-manned vessels with different equipments run by Government departments and civil agencies. Can’t think that is a very sensible arrangement, the RN should be running the larger OPVs, including the Scottish ones, the Coast Guard should be doing the rest, under RN command, similar to the status of the RFA.

    • The US Coast Guard operates as a part of Homeland Security in peace time. This is done so to allow them to conduct any action related to law enforcement with regard to civilians, collect fines, collect fees, SAR, and random inspections of cargo without Martial Law being declared. Otherwise it would fall under Posse Comitatus laws which govern the use of the Military for law enforcement in peace.
      The USCG however does fall under DoD and is made part of the Navy in war time. This means that all Coast Guard ships are built to NAVSEA build standards. With the only difference being Coast Guard units being fitted for but not with. Hence the size of the new NSC and OPC classes under construction. In addition to the OPVs getting more armaments compared to other nations OPVs like the Sentinel class.

    • The Sandown-class minehunters are based at HMNB Clyde, alongside the submarines and three RN fast patrol vessels – one of which is the Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Naval Unit (URNU).

      The three patrol vessels of the Royal Marines also operate from Faslane too.

  18. Well, I would just like to wish you all a Happy new year. Scots, Welsh, Irish and English included. All this “I’m an Englishman” stuff Is just Childish when you actually think about It , just like Kids from rival Schools, Football fans (Arsenal/Tottenham ), Counties ( Yorkshire/Lancashire), makes me laugh/cry truth be known.

    • I’ve grown to like and respect your comments on here captain p but ask yourself if you’d think Scots were silly for “all this I’m a Scotsman” stuff – because if you do then you’d never ever be welcome in Scotland ever again whereas in England you most likely be thought of as progressive (rightly or wrongly).

      This is my last post this year and I’d also like to wish you all a happy new year. As a relative newcomer to this site, I’ve enjoyed d it immensely and am buying you virtual round.

      • Not sure you got my point. I guess I just prefer to be an Earthling, we’re all from this one place we call home, can’t really pick and choose which part of It we are born though. To my mind It’s “Belonging” to a group that causes problems be it Religious, Political or Ethnical. We all have different views and that’ll never change. Happy 2019 everyone.

    • The thoughts and views of the people’s and nations that make up the Union are never trivial or childish. Remember the Union once included another nation who’s peoples views were ignored, a lot of blood was and still maybe shed over that split.

      To forget we are separate nations each with proud history’s lessens the chance that we will have a shared common future.

      agreed nationalistic “we are better than them” talk does not help our nations present or future. But I think we can all ( probably) agree the SNP like most of our parties are lacking in real statesmen and women.

  19. Any split up of the UK is a denial of my birthright and I will die fighting anyone who tries to break up the country I love.

    • Well said Mike. I am of Scots Irish blood born in England but my heart is BRITISH above all else. If the Union were to fall I would consider my self spiritually stateless. One piece of advice from an older(70 year old) man to all who comment on UKDJ-don’t confuse the SNP with the Scottish people. They are not one and the same, so some of the comments above are unnecessarily nasty in reference to the Scots and Scotland to the point where I suspect that they are posted by people who would relish the breakup of the UK to the detriment of all its people. A happy and prosperous 2019 to you all-it promises to be an interesting year!

      • If you go back far enough, you’ll probably find that we are all of Mixed Blood be it English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Scandinavian, Germanic, French, African or Planet bloody X. Quite why we all build Fortifications around us and want to wage War against anyone outside Is beyond me. But maybe I just think too much.

        • Hear you Cap’n-the irony is that H. sapiens is essentially one specie(s) so there is no such thing as “English” blood or “Scottish” blood. Identities are all in the nurture and environment but are,nevertheless real. The depressing truth is that War would appear to be programmed into the survival gene.

          • As an Australian of English, Scottish, Irish, French & German ancestory, (sorry Wales, I’m sure you are in there somewhere) that I know of, married to a Dutch girl, I suggest you all get over it. You may not have noticed it, but half of Europe has been busy invading the other half & vise versa for the last 3,000 years or more. As for the EU, I am afraid I am not a fan. There is too big a difference between east & west, north & south.

            To build a nation, you need something to bind you together. It doesn’t matter what that is, so long as it’s recognised. Unfortunately UK stuffed up badly with Ireland. It’s your own fault. Admit it & move on. You never know, it may not be too late. But stop navel gazing & pull your finger out. A people build a nation, not the land they are sitting on.

  20. Hi all Happy New Year. Good to be back on UKDJ.

    Did not bother reading the article except to check, as suspected, what party this tripe comes from.

    Agree with Geoff.

    I am British, first and foremost. Long may the union continue and regards to all our Scottish brothers and sisters who feel likewise.

  21. Happy New Year all!

    Disappointed with the comments bar a couple, and the tone of the article.

    What most fail to address is the rising threat from the Arctic, and the longer trek from say Portsmouth compared with Faslane, Rosyth or Peterhead. Yet UKDJ carreied an excellent article on this very thing, and exercises themselves are at last stepping up a bit. But not basing.

    Most minesweepers though based, are on near permanent duty elsewhere, frigates, destroyers and supply ships visit for exercises, but are not based, and even the SSNs are not yet on the Clyde. One OPV does do duty occasionally, and basically that’s it.

    The anti-SNP schtick should not interfere with an objective view of UK, and I’ll repeat that, UK (i.e. not just “Jock”) defence. But sadly it does, wave a red rag at a bull and it catches itself by the horns and gets stuck with a Russian, Chinese, pirate or smuggler’s spear.

    Defence is not about the SNP, or one single MP, it’s about defence.

  22. To whom it may concern.

    How do you expect to maintain a Union when you excrete such bile towards people who live in one part of your islands.


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