One key issue that has had significant influence over the often torrid debate when it comes to military ship building in Scotland is the reduction of the Type 26 procurement from thirteen to eight vessels.

The often passionate arguments from those who support and oppose Scottish independence makes a balanced view of military ship building in Scotland and its future difficult as it can often end up with people shouting their ‘prefered’ facts at each other over social media rather then examining the issues.


This article was submitted by Jonathan Chartier, a defence commentator working in Government and local government IT services.


Traditionally the Royal Navy has purchased ship classes from multiple yards and in distinct batches, this not only spreads programme costs but also allows for changes and improvements to the base design plus rectification work as well as keep shipyards open with a constant steady stream of work. Certainly for famous classes like the Type 12I Leander this batch production was necessary just to keep up with the radical changes seen in electronics and systems over their extensive career.

So whilst the Royal Navy would have a projected number to be built it was not unusual for the number of batches to be reduced or on some occasion increased as needed without comment by the wider general public to satisfy the requirements of the Admiralty and always lurking in the background Treasury. This practice continued through to the Type 23 class which was built by competing yards Marconi Marine (YSL), Scotstoun and Swan Hunter, Wallsend. It is actually possible to tell where an individual Type 23 was built by inspecting its internal pipe fittings.

Launch of HMS Duncan on the Clyde.

When it came to the Type 45 class the Royal Navy projected a fleet size of twelve split into multiple batches, a first batch of three vessels using modular construction would be split between two yards for final build with BAE Systems Marine on the Clyde and Vosper Thornycroft in Portsmouth. VT had actually built a new build hall or “Ship Factory” with a new panel line to accommodate this work.

Nevertheless BAE Systems Marine persuaded the Government of the time that it would be more cost effective for final build to be on the Clyde and VT ended up only providing sections, this caused much ongoing grievance amongst the people of Portsmouth exacerbated by the eventual ending of ship building in Portsmouth in favour of the Clyde after the rationalisation of UK military shipbuilding as part of the oft talked about TOBA with BAE Systems.

As is well known the order for Type 45 was reduced from twelve down to eight and eventually six, a change that had with it significant consequences both operational and politically beyond the scope of this article.

With warship construction consolidated on the Clyde Type 26 was projected to be a build of thirteen vessels again through multiple batches in keeping with common practice, for those familiar with military ship building the thirteen projected was at best a placeholder subject to change.

BAE Systems Govan is shown above in CGI, with a Type 26 Frigate hull visible.

Certainly it was well known in the period after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security review it was clear that the equipment programme was again coming under extreme financial pressure again. In that circumstance it was unfortunate with a Scottish Independence referendum in the running David Cameron and the Better Together campaign unwisely turned routine procurement that could be subject to change into a political football by making it a direct promise to Scotland; thirteen Type 26 Frigates would be built on the Clyde alongside a new ‘Frigate Factory’.

The Labour Party exacerbated the situation with a leaflet spelling out that if Scotland remained in the Union it would get 13 Type 26 frigates. The Prime Minister and other Ministers plus representatives of the Better Together Campaign regularly spelled out that a Scotland in the Union would be getting thirteen Type 26.

Fact check: Sturgeon's shipbuilding 'broken promises' claim is Mostly True
A leaflet from Labour.

So when the referendum was over and won for Better Together, the reality that Thirteen Type 26 was not deliverable within the allocated budget set in. A few months after cast iron guarantees for thirteen Type 26, the order was cut to eight as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security with a compensatory order for five General Purpose frigates proffered and some Offshore Patrol vessels ordered in their place.

Considering what was promised in very clear terms by the Prime Minister, Better Together and other Parties including Labour it is understandable why Scottish Nationalists have fixated on it as a totemic issue. Put simply thirteen Type 26 was a core promise by Better Together in the Independence campaign that has been, technically, broken.

Of course the more nuanced point to be considered is that Scotland gained five River class Batch II Offshore Patrol Vessels and five Type 31 Frigates (plus a ‘frigate factory’ in Rosyth) as compensation for the loss.

The current order book showing what replaced the 13 Type 26 Frigates.

For a look at what Scottish shipyards are planning on building, this UK Defence Journal article goes into detail.

The new ‘Frigate Factory’ being built at Rosyth.

Not that the Yes campaign and SNP get away from broken promises or more accurately promises they couldn’t guarantee as deliverable when it comes to military ship building and the 2014 independence referendum.

The SNP position on what the future for not only military ship building but also a future Scottish Navy was wholly unrealistic. Whilst during a transition period to independence Scottish Shipyards would certainly need to complete any ongoing orders or at the very least what was already in build they certainly couldn’t guarantee the promises they made about the UK MOD and Royal Navy placing future orders with yards in a newly independent Scotland.

Likewise the proposed Scottish Navy in composition was beyond what could be practically operated by any nascent Scottish navy initially.

The idea that Type 23 and Type 26 would form the cornerstone of a future Scottish Navy clashes with the reality that Scotland lacks the widespread training and support facilities needed to operate these vessels let alone the range of crew who could not be guaranteed to end their careers in the Royal Navy to join a Scottish Naval Service. To be fair more recent proposals by the SNP on the matter at least in respect of fleet composition have been more realistic but the expectations for orders from UK MOD and RN towards Scottish yards if Scotland gained independence are still unrealistic.

Whilst beyond the scope of this article it is the opinion of the author that the basis of any future Scottish Naval Service would most realistically be formed around the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency and its vessels not unlike the Icelandic Coastguard in scale and role.

Sadly this angry debate is set to continue with accusation, counter accusations and many a myth spun but in all this it does show the danger of politicising military shipbuilding albeit this isn’t the first time it has happened and no doubt a Ghostly Winston Churchill would give a little chuckle considering the trouble induced by the Government of the day in 1906 when asking the public how many Dreadnoughts they wanted only to get the response “We want eight and we won’t wait”… two more than requested by the Admiralty.

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maurice10

One issue that needs to be given some thought, is that the majority of Scottish people are Unionists, and this was from a Scotsman on the radio. He went on to say the fixation with separation is mostly with the wine-drinking elite in the cities, who despise being told what to do by the UK. If true, the threat of splitting the Union may be less than the media would have us believe?

Nathan

The wine drinking elites have a lot of influence despite them being a minority; they own the newspapers – social medial – they make the headlines, they run the institutions of state and have the ears of our politicians. They are used to getting their way and don’t take kindly to being told “NO”.

I’d suggest that nearly every political division in the Western world comes from this powerful minority leveraging their influence to achieve their political goals in contrast to the natural will of the majority.

maurice10

Very true, however, the gentleman in question may just represent a deeper routed Unionism that might win again on the day? The intellectual debate on independence will now be an ongoing cauldron on both sides of the border for years, whichever way the vote goes, that’s just the nature of the beast.

Fedaykin

No not really, the direction has been solidly towards supporting independence across most demographics in Scotland.

drewball

Im sure most British and NIR people would support Scotland having a vote for Independence and whilst it would be a shame if the vote was yes to Independence we would get over it but its the politicians which are more worried and are not speaking for everyone they represent as usual

John Clark

A very interesting article. Focusing on Scotlands actual needs ….. it’s certainly true that if Scotland broke from the union, operating a couple of T26’s would utterly break their (real not fairlytale) allocated defence budget, love to know what they would use a 5 inch gun for! I would imagine an independent Scotland would end up with an Irish Republic sized and configured armed forces, partly because that’s all they would actually need and partly because they couldn’t afford anything more. So a handful of River Class and similar to control Scottish waters ….. 6 or so battalions of light… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi John, I think your assessment is probably the most realistic I have seen posted anywhere! I would also suggest that it is shared by our allies, particularly the US, which probably explains why they are so against the break up of the Union. The vulnerability posed by Ireland to the West would be replicated to the North and would likely be the more serious ‘hole’ in NATO’s defences. Size matters when is comes to military strength and splitting up the UK would definately be a weakening move. Whilst I hope Scotland does not leave the Union, they do have… Read more »

John Clark

Well absolutely they have the right … A right that was democratically voted on and decided 6 short years ago… It’s a generational vote, so 25 years minimum in my opinion, or perhaps 30 years. Anything other than that and it’s impossible to plan any form of medium term investment and extremely damaging to the national economy. For those that say leaving the EU has changed the terms of the 2014 referendum, it hasn’t, I’ve looked and I can’t see any caviats involving national votes triggering a new referendum written anywhere. The referendum was first studied, cleared and monitored by… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi John, Whilst I generally agree with what you say, particularly regarding the generational nature of the referendum we are talking about politics. The truth is Cameron made a public promise to Scotland that he would deliver a Remain vote which he could not deliver. Whilst this was not written into any formal agreement and is not legally binding it does create a significant political jeopardy. If politicians make such promises on the public stage they should not be surprised if they get held to them by the public. Sadly for the UK this promise has not been foregotten by… Read more »

drewball

Thats the problem with the Scottish people, they are so quick to turn against the rest of the UK when times are hard instead of being united, The EU could only wish the had something to resemble our own union!! I hope the people of Scotland remember that.

Fedaykin

You do realise how shockingly patronising that statement is?! You talk up the wonders of the Union of the United Kingdom whilst in the same breath declaring Scots to be quick to turn against the UK…

It is attitudes like that in England which have driven support for Scottish support for independence!

I would also like to remind you that majority in Scotland support EU membership and regard Brexit as reneging on promises made in the 2014 referendum.

drewball

Scotland had its vote and being part of a democratic Union WE all got a vote and the majority voted to leave so thats the end of it. Cameron stood down because he made a promise that he couldnt keep. I personally am not worried about Scottish independence, you get what you vote for either way no good moaning about it

Fedaykin

It was a promise and it has been broken…a No to Independence was a guarantee to Remain in the EU in 2014…that hasn’t been forgotten.

That is why a large proportion of Remainers who voted No to Independence have flipped their position…it just so happens that is a critical number of voters enough to push overall support for independence close to 60%.

I would say all things have consequence…

drewball

We did for two years then we voted and it was leave

Darren

How?

Mark

So, you’re going with ignore the bits of the history of your Union that doesn’t fit your narrative?

John Clark

Evening CR, it’s interesting how many of the discussions here rapidly put Cameron into sharp focus! He was a gambler in so many ways, I guess this was another of his gambles. To be fair, he did promise a referendum on the EU, along with the Scottish vote and either could have gone another way. I don’t personally think there should be one for at least another 20 years. That said, I’m confident that post Brexit, the UK will prosper and the SNP will wither on the vine as support drops back. Just my opinion or course, other will differ!… Read more »

BASRA

Is that the same Irish Republic that’s now the 5th wealthiest nation on the planet vs UK at 28. Starting to sound better already.

John Clark

Really, the Irish Republic is the 5th wealthiest country in the world, I never new that!

In that case they can buy 100 Typhoons and help protect the poor old UK languishing at a paltry 28th, they can certainly also easily replace the money in the EU pot from the UK leaving, that’s for sure….

Are you sure you haven’t put the decimal point in wrong place LOL.??

Alan Reid

Hi BASRA, You might also refer to the annual UN HDI (Human Development Index) report. http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/download-data If so, even better, because using the criteria/model in question – Eire was 2nd in the world during 2019! This report is often quoted to me by my nationalist supporting friends. I agree, Eire is a great country – but better than USA, Germany, Japan, France etc? Really? And certainly the UK (Scotland) didn’t do too badly in 13th spot – also above USA, Japan, France and Italy! Really in these reports, the difference between highly developed countries is so marginal – down to… Read more »

AlexS

Maybe because lots of companies register their accounts in Ireland

Fedaykin

As I said in the article I would say the Icelandic Coastguard is a better baseline for any future Scottish Naval Service versus the Irish Naval Service. That being said the scope and scale of any future Scottish Naval Service will be unique to Scotland and depend on multiple factors that are difficult to pin down at this time. There are also other interesting details like would it have ‘Royal’ as part of its title? I must admit the RSNL does have a certain ring to it but then again … I am a Republican so maybe I am having… Read more »

Fedaykin

I mean RSNS…a real funny turn!

John Clark

RSNL, sounds like a classy 1930’s Atlantic Ocean Liner company …. Nice ring to it! It’s hard to see why a hypothetical Scottish Navy would need frigate sized warships, I would have thought River class type ships would adequately do the job for customs/ fisheries protection etc. The cost of operating complex warships would be excessive and hard to justify to the tax payer. Back to the referendum, just curious, but how could Cameron give the Scottish people a cast iron guarantee we would remain in in the EU, whilst simultaneously taking a referendum on membership to the UK a… Read more »

Mark

Christ, that’s just stupid. There are a multitude of factors of difference between the ROI’s position on defence and a Scottish position.

John Clark

Good morning Mark, obviously we are talking a hypothetical stance on defence as there currently (and may never be) an Indipendent Scottish position. I drew a comparison based on an independent Scotland’s ability to pay regarding defence and what would actually be required. If, lots of if’s….. If an independent Scotland joined NATO it would likely have to allocate 2%. If it joined the EU, then it will likely be enveloped in a future unified EU Defence Force anyway, that’s the problem of joining a Federal structure like the EU, you’re swept along with the current and you have no… Read more »

Mark

Every development of the EU has been shaped by the nations within it, as evidenced by opt outs and restrictions as it has developed. As to the question of any “unified Defence Force”, highly unlikely, it and Foreign Policy are still areas where you have widely divergent positions even among the big nations and nobody willing to be forced into a conflict (for example Germany sitting out the UK/French adventure in Libya).

The most likely thing well see is more attempts to streamline procurement for example, but large scale integration isn’t likely.

ArgyllAtheist

I cannot understand why folks who are against Independence feel the need to run Scotland down. Perhaps the lack of any aspiration under the Union leads to a mindset that simply cannot conceive of anything other than decline and squalor. By all means, suggest that Scotland may have smaller armed forces because of political decisions, but this nonsense – “because they couldn’t afford anything more.” really needs to stop; it’s ridiculous. Explain, please, why you think that Scotland is inherently less capable of building and running a sound economy than every other 5Mpop country in Northern Europe? The truth is,… Read more »

Fedaykin

The view of one Scotsman on the Radio might be the majority in Scotland are Unionist but that isn’t born out by recent polling.

All age demographics bar the over 65’s support Scottish Independence, the younger the voter the more overwhelming the support.

The shift of voters who voted No to Independence in 2014 but Remain in the EU in 2016 over to supporting Scottish independence has caused a significant shift in support over to Yes in the last year.

maurice10

It wasn’t so much the lone voice of the man on the radio, like the fact that unionism is a factor. I agree this may be applicable to the over 50’s and the younger voters not so swayed by historical pressures. At the end of the day, the SNP has to be brutally honest about the full economic cost to what is a relatively small population. Some analysts say independence is viable but others fear bankruptcy as too many of Scotland’s young leave to work in other countries? The risk of this is a predominately third age population until such… Read more »

Andy P

My experience of independence voters is the opposite of the ‘wine drinking elite’. I’m not saying there aren’t any but I’ve met far more…. how can I put it….. definitely NOT the ‘wine drinking elite’ (I think I got away with not outing myself as a snob 😉 ). There is a groundswell of support for independence, change like this is always more exciting and if you’ve not got much to lose then you’re probably more willing to roll the dice. Independence scares the crap out of me but things are picking up speed. Wee Jimmy has come out of… Read more »

maurice10

My late English mum loved Scotland with a passion, which must have rubbed off on me too! I love the country and could easily live there if given a chance. But, there is always a but, is independence affordable? The notion that reentry into the EU could be achieved relatively easily, could be a huge act of faith? The Scottish debt would not lubricate the tracks, but could dissuade many struggling members who would not wish to see vital funds being shared and dwindled by a new player? After COVID the net effect on the EU budget is probably being… Read more »

Andy P

You’ll not get much argument from me on that logic Maurice, but then I’m not a fan of independence. If I thought that people in Scotland were going to be better off then I could get it but like you, I don’t think that will be the case. The SNP have shifted their political stance to Left of Centre from a more (small C) conservative (and probably more middle class) approach as ultimately its not their priority and with Scotland generally being Left of Centre they had nothing to lose as all roads lead to independence. Once its ‘done’ then… Read more »

Robert1

I think the struggle that often happens between those in Scotland in favour of independence and those outside Scotland trying to understand it is that financial arguments won’t challenge the view truly. Whilst of course there is a believe that some (not all) have that Scotland will be better off financially when independent, at the heart of it, it comes down to the belief that Scotland as a historic and ancient country has a right to self determination. For the same reason that many of those in favour of Brexit appear to accept that there will be an immediate financial… Read more »

Andy P

I think you’ve summed it up nicely for a lot of people Robert.

Mark

It’s funny how the UK forgets that pretty much the same arguments failed to keep the majority of Ireland in the Union a hundred years ago, yet they just repeat them.

John Clark

Morning Andy, we certainly live in interesting times mate, Brexit has shown us that people aren’t predictable at the ballet box!

I guess we will see. A good friend of mine owns a large building company and he’s already measured up Hadrian’s wall, he went up there last week with his Jewson tape measure and builders pencil behind his ear to quote on adding 6 feet to the wall.

Andy P

Hope he gets the contract John. 🙂 Yeah, interesting times, scary times really and not just the covid. Or Brexit…lots of places around the world are getting a bit more antsy. I suppose the numbers involved with UK debt might put a lot of people off it, depending on how its handled but both the Brexit and previous Indy ref were both shocking campaigns by both sides, lots of lies etc. The lack of a credible opposition to the SNP in Scotland leading to ‘evil outsiders from England’ telling us what to do might be used against a Remain campaign.… Read more »

BASRA

Opinion polls would increasingly disagree with you but they are probably wrong so let’s just go with what some random Scottish guys said on the radio MAGA.

ArgyllAtheist

the majority of Scottish people are Unionists, and this was from a Scotsman on the radio.” Thankfully, we have a better guide of opinion – Polls and elections. The polls currently say that no, the majority of Scottish people are not Unionists. in fact, when you look at anyone under the age of fifty, you find that hardly any Scots are unionists – more than 65% of Scots under 50 support Independence.

Grant

We should move all of our warship building back to the other three countries; just because the uncertainty around the desire to be independent creates significant risk. The T26 build goes out to 2038; honestly I cannot imagine Scotland still being with us in 2038 (as sad as that is) so from the 4th ship we should look to move elsewhere (perhaps after completion of the FSS build).

Mark

Why would you move anything to NI? It’s got a very low level of capacity, has political issues that dwarf Scottish issues, and has a treaty bound right to a vote on Unification and one that actually has a set time limit for repeat votes as well.

ArgyllAtheist

“We should move all of our warship building back to the other three countries”. Nah, mate, you should move it all back to England. England is the largest population block in the UK, your economy is bigger. 99% of the time when your leaders and celebrities say “britain”, they mean England anyway, so embrace it. How much happier would the English people be, having a bit of pride in a their Royal Navy, built in England, flying the St George’s cross? Get some good shipbuilding jobs back in Southampton! it was absolutely ridiculous that the yard was shut down, just… Read more »

Grant

if Scotland wish to be independent, then I fully respect that. It would only be a truly terrible organisation that would attempt to punish a country for democratically choosing to go their own way, like, say the EU are doing.

I think it’s becoming more likely Scotland will chose to be independent and we should all plan for that eventuality.

Alan Reid

Argyll

Based on my own personal experience, I think what English people really want is for the Scots to remain within the United Kingdom. And they do so simply for feelings of friendship and common kinship.

As a fellow Scot, I really feel these silly and petulant comments do you no credit.

But I’m sure you can do better – and I look to forward reading more of your posts during the coming weeks.

ArgyllAtheist

“I really feel these silly and petulant comments do you no credit. But I’m sure you can do better ”

Good grief. You are talking to a fifty year old adult who has actually worked in the defence industry, not a school child.

The overbearing paternalism of unionists is tedious at the best of times, but in your case, it seems to be matched by your ability to be offensively condescending. Again, though – keep on going. These attitudes, unpleasant as they are, drive people into the open arms of the Pro-Indy camp.

Alan Reid

Argyll Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you, but I do think you rather let the side down in your comments to Grant. So-called “unionists” aren’t so bad you know …. all they want to do is keep the people of these islands together for the common good. By the way, congratulations on reaching your half-century. In that case you must have taken part in the 2014 Referendum – the greatest democratic exercise in Scotland’s history. On that basis, I find it strange that you believe we are being held in the UK against our will. ” … rebellious Scots… Read more »

geoff

If any reasonable person from any part of the United Kingdom were to sit down and really think about what a breakup of the UK would entail then surely only a small minority would support such a disaster. The break away from the EU of which we have been a member for a relatively short period, is proving to be a logistical nightmare. No matter which side of the divide one sits on, none of this was envisaged by any of us. The SNP have cleverly exploited this situation but the truth is that a destruction of the United Kingdom… Read more »

Fedaykin

The problem is the time for a Constitutional convention was about 15 years ago, the current Tory Government is moving in the opposite direction to the idea of a Federal UK. Whilst support for Scottish independence has been gradually increasing amongst all demographics in Scotland since 2014 there has been a significant surge in the last year due to perceptions about the Covid response but also a significant swing by ABC2 voters who had voted No in 2014 but also to Remain in the EU in 2016 over to supporting Scottish Independence. I also think that there is a significant… Read more »

Herodotus

So true geoff, your first sentence is absolutely spot on…..but you could say exactly the same about the UK leaving the EU!

geoff

Morning Herodotus. I think leaving the UK was a big mistake and yet there is much truth in the assertion that we are to an extent held captive by that organisation still and going forward. We should be able to negotiate a reasonable and close relationship with Europe that allows us independence of action in shaping our destiny in the world at large but at the same time, membership of any organisation anywhere requires the member to follow the rules-one really cannot have one’s cake and eat it! For me the difference between the Eu and the British Union is… Read more »

geoff

leaving the EU..

Herodotus

Thanks for the reply geoff! I pretty much concur with your sentiments, I also agree that the EU club could be somewhat suffocating and, at times, overweening. But if we had any role in the EU then it was as insider reformers. I guess we joined the EEC somewhat too late. Clem Atlee and Herbert Morrison missed a golden opportunity when Labour was invited to join the Schuman plan! I also have some sympathy with the more thinking elements of Scottish nationalism. Scotland has a fantastic cultural heritage: engineers, scientists, doctors of medicine, artists, designers, economists, philosophers, writers…..so much so… Read more »

geoff

There’ll always be an England, as long as Scotland’s there.. 🙂

TrevorH

We reformed nothing in the EU. It’s all fixed by France and Germany. They were the two between them in the end that started wars between 1870 and 1939. Now they want to fix it with their hegemony. And underneath them are a gang of lefty eurofederalistic apparatchiks.

Texas has more freedom and democracy within the USA compared to Poland in the EU.

Mark

Utter nonsense.

Herodotus

What a bleak view of Europe! Given the unfortunate move to the right in Poland of late (homophobic and anti abortionist), I would imagine that Texan Trumpists would feel really at home in Warsaw!

TrevorH

Texas went Republican. It’s called democracy. But the wider nation voted for Biden. The people had a vote in their country for their President, not like in the EU. And each governor had an election as well. Even the Sheriffs have an election. Even the DAs as well.

Herodotus

Chalk and cheese! An utterly pointless comparison. I think that you will find that much of Europe has elected officials…even Britain elects its police and crime commissioners and mayors etc. As for our Shire-Reeves (Sheriffs), their authority peaked in the medieval period…they are high court bailiffs now 🙂

john melling

Well, I’m sick of hearing about Scots and independence! They voted and they stayed. We seem to always give work to them and as Grant says we should bring more shipbuilding back this side of the border as that would be a good test of Scottish will power. We would obviously also need to change the way we build RN ships. Stop all these big orders to the Scots or just one or two big companies just to please them and instead create a consortium, one common goal to build ships for the RN. This brings in smaller companies that… Read more »

Fedaykin

“Well, I’m sick of hearing about Scots and independence! They voted and they stayed. We seem to always give work to them and as Grant says we should bring more shipbuilding back this side of the border as that would be a good test of Scottish will power.” That line of thinking increases support for Independence in Scotland, it undermines the Union as it suggests Scotland is not an active member but a charity case given gifts of work from the English and permitted a one off vote on independence that is immutable to changing facts. If people want to… Read more »

ArgyllAtheist

Well, I’m sick of hearing about Scots and independence!” I can think of a really easy solution there John. quick as a flash, and you’ll never need to hear about us ever again… 😀

TrevorH

One thing we can be sure about is that the SNP lies, and will continue to lie, through its (not least her) teeth.
The SNP are not ‘Scotland’… they like to think they are. Even worse, recent events clearly show themselves to think that the SNP are the same thing as the Scottish Government.

Bob2

Are Scots really that fussed about protecting military ship building on the Clyde? I ask, as the areas most effected by any yard closures ie Glasgow, were the only areas to vote for independence.

05DC0C3E-2B92-40A7-A924-079B19F105F4.png
Bob2

Red areas were majority union

Green areas were majority independence.

Fedaykin

When we are talking about referendums that graphic doesn’t tell the whole picture and gives a false impression based upon a false comparison with Parliamentary style FPTP elections. People voted to Remain in the Union and for Independence across all of Scotland a vote that gave a binary choice. Declaring the ‘Red bits’ for the Union because a majority voted in those areas that way gives an incorrect impression of actual support for Scottish Independence.

Bob2

Hi Fedaykin,

I fully agree with you regarding the map and it not being a true representation of independence feeling.

What I was really trying to portray is that ship building may not be such an important issue when people were deciding on remain or independence. It is just the press and the politicians who portray it is.

In the same way that fishing rights were not that important an issue for people who voted for brexit.

Fedaykin

What I was really trying to portray is that ship building may not be such an important issue when people were deciding on remain or independence.”

I agree with that position albeit as I have pointed out elsewhere this article is an investigation of the issue not a statement that it is a dominant issue.

“In the same way that fishing rights were not that important an issue for people who voted for brexit.”

That I disagree with, fishing has sadly become a major issue for Brexit supporters (and Remainers who like to point out how insignificant it is).

Fedaykin

Note: insignificant as an industry to the economy…

Sean

?‍♂️

Christopher Allen

Surely though it is logical to have back up facilities in England, in event Scots do hypocritically vote for “independence”. Portsmouth should never have been sacrificed over the Clyde, that was blatant appeasement.

BASRA

I think in terms of lies or spin used by the No campaign the number of Type 26 frigates built on the Clyde is largely irrelevant in comparison to Pulling out of the EU with the Brexit cluster F**K and all the new powers the Scottish parliament was going to get (ended up getting control of air passenger duty) and some how federal Britain turned in to EVEL because John Redwood and the Torys said that England’s parliament will always be Westminster (No way they could ever have a parliament for England in Manchester). Frigate numbers and a few jobs… Read more »

Fedaykin

I would agree with that observation albeit as this is a Defence focused website the debate over Frigate numbers is going to be the main subject of discussion in any article.

My problem as an Englishman who lives in Scotland is the woeful understanding across the political spectrum in England about how politics and basic societal structures work in Scotland. The sheer ignorance about law, taxation and the Scottish Parliament amongst the English is depressing at times.

Meirion X

Upgrade the East Coast Main Line and electrifie Midlands Mainline instead of HS2.

BASRA

Funnily enough the midlands mainline does not actually go to Scotland, not that I’m that bothered about HS2 but it was one of many promises made that were rapidly forgotten and papered over as with frigate building.

Meirion X

I agree! It has potential to go north.

Captain P Wash

Personally, I love Scotland, I also love the People, i really hope we can all live together happily like we have for so long. i’m happy to see Scotland building RN Ships and giving so much employment ….. We are all one big Family. Articles like this just fan the flames in my opinion.

drewball

Think about the millions of the rUK money and the coal from Wales which turn us into the first industrialised nation (which the Scots didnt complain about) help to make Scotland what it is today over 400 hundred years as well as the lives lost protecting the whole of the UK. There will be one hell of a divorce bill to be paid by Scotland, and before you mention the OIL that has not been available for the whole of the Union. We will/ or have paid a divorce bill of 34 Billion with the EU. but dont forget we… Read more »

Alan Reid

Strewth, Drewball, yet another unpaid recruiting sergeant for the separatists! There often seem more outside Scotland, than within these borders! You do know that Scotland also had coal, lots of it – and iron? Are you aware that during the last 40 years, the fiscal balance between Scotland and rUK has been broadly in balance? Or that outside London and the south-east, in terms of tax-generation, Scotland is one of the more efficient nations and regions in the UK? Or that Edinburgh is one of the leading financial centres in the world? And far from having a distinctively high-level of… Read more »

geoff

Words of great wisdom Alan. Thank you.

BASRA

Alan please stop quoting facts, it’s simply not required clearly. Scotland has no coal and played no part in the industrial revolution. That’s why Cardiff was the centre of British shipbuilding and James Watt actually came from Bognor Regis.

Captain P Wash

Wasn’t he a Coventry Player….. or was it his brother Cyrille ?

drewball

Thomas Newcomen and oak from the forest of dean to build the HMS Victory as well dont forget

Ron

Possibly the MoD with the RN needs to rethink its ship build stratagy. At the moment Scotland and the SNP can take the MoD and RN for granted. Where else in the UK could or do they build warships,where else in the UK do they have a SSN/SSBN permanant base with all the needed infrastructure, where else in the UK can the QEs undrgo refit and repair. So at the moment the SNP can say even if they were to go independent shipbuilding would stay. The SNP use ship building numbers as a stick to beat Westminster with. Not only… Read more »

Andy P

Oh dear Ron, how long did it take you to type all that up. Unfortunately there’s some… how can I put it…. um… ‘non facts’ tossed in, enough for this smooth pimp daddy to discount all the rest of the tear stained rant.

Ron

Rant, not really, the figures on Scotlands debt and government employment either direct or indeirect is from the ONS. Direct work is employees indirct is government funded projects everything from ship building to research and development, military personnel to military projects. If Scotland would become independent these jobs would come back South of the border. The next issue is this if we take a military norm of for every soldier in the field you have three support persons then the outcome could be 130,000 direct jobs to plus 390,000 at risk jobs. in shops, pubs, housing white goods etc. So… Read more »

Meirion X

The UK national debt is now 100% of GDP.

Ron

Ouch, hope we can get out of that situation.

Alan Reid

Ron, I’ve read your narrative – and I appreciate how unhappy the SNP has made you. You state that you wish the SNP, “ to start working together for the interest of the Scottish people and the peoples of the UK”. A laudable aim. But that’s never going to happen! You’re thinking of another political party! Maybe Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour – or Scottish Lib-Dems! The SNP simply want independence, has contempt for the British state – and fosters a narrative of bogus grievance and gripe to support its objective. Indeed I rather fear they have worked their destructive brand… Read more »

Ron

Alan, I agree with you, the nations are better as one, yes as a family of brorthers there will be disagrements, good god, four brothers in one house mum and dad will need to get involved. However when it comes to the outside world god help anyone that trys to bully one of the brothers. That is how I see these Islands, four brothers. As for thinking Scottish Lab, Con, or Lib Dems, sorry I trust the word of a politicain as much as I trust a rattle snake if I got to close. They Bite, and not in a… Read more »

Alan Reid

Ron, I think we need to keep the SNP in perspective. At the last General Election in Dec 2019, 54% of Scots who took part voted for so-called “unionist parties”, and only 46% for the SNP/Greens. When rigorously tested, opinion in Scotland had barely changed since 2014 – even after Brexit. Indeed, currently Ms Sturgeon leads a minority administration in Edinburgh. The SNP does have a lot of Westminster MPs at the moment, which means a right to UK TV air-time – and the opportunity to do what they love best – winding-up the English! But devolution is here to… Read more »

ArgyllAtheist

Alan, that is what is called a “Bad Faith” argument. you cannot see your opponent as a fellow citizen with a different opinion, so you demonise and strawman the argument. You want the SNP to start working together for the interest of the Scottish people and the peoples of the UK”, and then spew some nonsense about us. Here’s the tough mental shift. It’s gonna really blow your mind. Both unionists and nationalists want what is best for Scotland and the UK. it’s true. They just believe that different paths give the best results. I, as a nationalist, believe that… Read more »

Alan Reid

Argyll Atheist I’ve reread what I’ve written – and I don’t see anything “demonic” in my argument! I think you simply don’t like what I’ve stated! With respect, your big idea to improve the life of the peoples on these islands is to divide them – while others wish to keep them together in a collective purpose of co-operation and the common weal. And here is something else you may not like: in the main today, there is no linguistic, cultural or ethnic differences between the Scots and the rest of the UK. Your “nations” are simply imagined communities. You… Read more »

ArgyllAtheist

To “demonise” an argument or person does not imply anything “demonic”. That’s just poor English comprehension. And no, the big idea is not to “divide”, it’s local governance. the more local the better; a tried and tested model used by the happiest nations on the planet. many of which are small European nations like Scotland. As to your incorrect opinion about language and culture (I’ll leave “ethnic” for you, as I have no interest in “blood and soil”), no matter how many times unionists stomp and shout that Scots is “not a real language” or that Scottish culture is not… Read more »

Alan Reid

Argyll I believe in localism, that’s why I support devolution – and trust that the powers at Holyrood will be used constructively, in co-operation with the other people on these islands. But I see very little of that spirit in today’s separatist dominated chamber. I’m also a proud Scot – but just like to keep these things in proportion! In my travels: as a Glaswegian, I’ve found as much in common with people in Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle and London – as I do with those in Dundee or Aberdeen. As for happy wee nations, although I believe Scotland is a… Read more »

Andy P

Mate, I don’t have any ideological problem with an independent Scotland, my issue is more of practicality. While Scotland could function as an independent nation my fear is that we (the inhabitants) would generally be worse off financially because of it.

Whether Scotland was in the UK and/or the EU it would be giving up ‘sovereignty’ so not independent, we’d just be having a different bunch of politicians telling ‘us’ what to do. The SNP would have Scotland swap Westminster for Brussels, what’s the difference, its not really independence is it.

ArgyllAtheist

A cracking article; and gets to the heart of the thing – using the procurement as essentially an election promise made the inevitable dance between the MOD and BAE Systems into an overtly political thing. It’s good to see this conversation now, because it opens the door to a bit of honesty all round. We nationalists have to recognise that the Type 26 dance of 13, no eight, but only 3 for now is entirely normal, and would have happened whether it was an Indyref football or not. We should also be acknowledging that the amount of work which has… Read more »

Alan Reid

HI Argyll, Hmmmm —– not really convinced by your comments.
“I can see that tranche 2 discussion being turned into another football for Indyref2. Hopefully not”.
Well, yes …. I imagine separatists wouldn’t want examples of the prosperity and opportunities gained through UK membership discussed during another Scottish independence referendum!

ArgyllAtheist

Did you even READ the article Alan? this entire article is highlighting that politicisation of vessel procurement was a mistake that should not have happened… and your answer to the risks of that happening again is that you want it to happen for political posturing… wow. as for not being convinced by my comments – of course not. you are clearly incapable of arguing in good faith.

Alan Reid

I did read it Argyll, but I think the author is being a wee bit unrealistic – as indeed, unfortunately, are you.
Of course large UK defence contracts (or “naked bribes” as you memorably described them earlier!) are going to be discussed during referendum or election campaigns in today’s Scotland. Although it is indeed regrettable that the sanctity of such events are sullied by politics!!
But I do look forward to some “grown-up discussions” with independence supporters about the Royal Navy in Scotland, and the future of ship-building in my home city. They are long overdue.

Andy P

Unfortunately politics has a way of creeping into everything and in the case of the frigates becoming a promise it builds up and you can see how and why. If (in this instance) Westminster said before the indy ref that there were going to be 13 frigates built on the Clyde then its fair enough the SNP/Indy campaign want ‘proof’ rather than empty words so it becomes a ‘promise’. I agree that its unfortunate that we’re at that place but as politicians are all pretty dodgy (sorry, I accept that that makes it all a bit self fulfilling) then things… Read more »

John Clark

As ever Andy, an accurate assessment.
Divisive politics, as honed to a dark perfection by chief mentalist and looney tune Trump, are seen everywhere these days.

I find the sort of hate filled decisive politics championed by the SNP and others just depressing to be honest.

Andy P

Cheers John, its not just the SNP, they’re all pretty bad, Left say Right is bad and vice versa, Andy Burnham playing politics with the government over covid cash is pretty divisive stuff too. Labour abstaining over covid measures etc. The Tories have been just as bad, Christ, BoJo’s power grab from Theresa May is another example. Nationalists have a slight advantage though as nationalism draws more in than a lot of other politics and its a simple message. While I don’t like it, the SNP have been playing a blinder, Ian Blackford plays his role in Westminster brilliantly, basically… Read more »

Martin Dukes

I’m surprised that the economic consequences of Scottish independence for shipbuilding seem to get so little coverage. I’m assuming that the rUK (horrible term) would discontinue building our complex warships there and that this would entail the end of large scale shipbuilding in Scotland, bringing about the loss of thousands of highly skilled jobs in Govan and in the associated supply chain. Were Faslane, Lossiemouth and other UK facilites likewise to be closed the loss of jobs would be even more significant. I know the consequences for the rUK submarine based nuclear deterrent have been much discussed in this forum.… Read more »

Darren

Wha tis often overlook is that VT’s, a dynamic UK shipbuilder wanted to build commercial tonnage too at their Portsmouth facility. This was thier plan at the start as they had already planned for another hall too. BAE in this respect, killed a ambitous company (they created BVT and that was the start) that wanted to build commercial shipbuilding on the South Coast.

Darren

Sorry for the poor grammar and spelling, as usual.