THE government has been warned losing shipbuilding in Portsmouth would be ‘strategically stupid’ while Scottish independence remains a possibility.
Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson spoke out amid fears BAE Systems will move its shipbuilding division north of the border – with the loss of 1,300 local jobs.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It seems to me incredibly strange that the government is thinking of allowing shipbuilding to finish here in Portsmouth and only to happen in Scotland.
‘Scotland might well become independent very soon which would mean there’s no advanced warship building left here in the UK and that to me seems strategically a really stupid view to take.’
BAE Systems has hired a consultancy firm to help it conduct a review of its shipbuilding operations and will not comment on speculation that this could affect jobs in Portsmouth.
The city council, other local authorities and trade unions are lobbying the firm and ministers on the issue.