Scottish fear knock-on effect

NO GUARANTEE Ed Miliband in Edinburgh
NO GUARANTEE Ed Miliband in Edinburgh
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Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to offer a jobs guarantee to shipyard workers on the Clyde if Scotland decides to back independence.

He was challenged to make the pledge during a visit to Edinburgh one day after BAE announced that 1,775 jobs will go across the UK, including 940 jobs from Portsmouth.

As reported, the Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond has been criticied for his comment urging people to ‘get this in context’.

The University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute said the knock-on effect of BAE Systems’ announcement could cost the Scottish economy £195m a year.

It said: ‘While there is clearly relief that the closure of the yards has been averted, it is useful to consider the scale of the job cuts on the Scottish economy as well as the remaining impact of the Glasgow naval yards on the Scottish economy. Govan and Scotstoun shipyards employ around 3,200 people in Glasgow, and the cuts announced by BAE will reduce the workforce by around a quarter.’

Hundreds of jobs will be lost in Scotland at the Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow as well as at Rosyth in Fife.

But work on the new Type 26 vessels is earmarked for the Glasgow yards, giving workers there a vital lifeline.

UK Government ministers have already hinted that this work could go elsewhere if people in Scotland vote ‘Yes’ to independence next September.

Mr Miliband was asked whether he, as a potential future prime minister, would protect the work on the Clyde irrespective of the referendum result.

‘I want us to win the referendum - I think it’s incredibly important that Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom,’ he responded.