Scotland’s No vote dashes Portsmouth shipbuilding hopes

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SCOTLAND’S No vote in the referendum means hopes that shipbuilding may return to Portsmouth have been dashed.

Workers at both ends of the country awaited the result knowing it could have huge consequences for them, following BAE’s decision to move operations to Clyde.

Portsmouth's hopes for shipbuilding to return have been dashed

Portsmouth's hopes for shipbuilding to return have been dashed

Gary Cook, the GMB union regional organiser, said: ‘Clearly the people have spoken and it’s a quite convincing No vote.

‘That leaves us exactly where we were yesterday.’

Asked whether he was disappointed that the referendum result means there is no hope of bringing shipbuilding back to Portsmouth, he said: ‘There is a part of me that’s hugely disappointed that the workers of Portsmouth naval base shipbuilding have been absolutely stitched up by this coalition government.’

However, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt has welcomed the result.

She said: ‘It is the right result. There are wider issues other than shipbuilding which would be a direct concern to this city.

‘Economically, there has been a boost to the pound following the results. If it had gone the other way it would not have been good.

‘Also, around defence of the UK, Scotland is home to the deterrent sumbarine base and it would have been absolutely disastrous if Faslane had to be moved.

‘This is the right results for the UK and for Portsmouth.’

Portsmouth Lib Dem leader calls for London devolution

PORTSMOUTH Lib Dem Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson has called for a major devolution of power from London following Scotland’s No vote.

He said: ‘If it is right for more powers to be transferred to Scotland, it is also right that more powers should be transferred away from London to the regions, counties and cities of England.

‘England is the most centralised state in western Europe and just giving more powers to English MPs does nothing to empower local communities and regions within England.

‘Concentrating more power, and more decision making with MPs in London is not the right answer, passing power down to local areas of England has to be part of the constitutional changes that flow from this decision in Scotland.’