If Scotland voted for independence, Portsmouth could see its shipbuilding facilities returned, says Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.
It comes amid the huge political and industrial row which has erupted today over news shipbuilding is to stop in the city.
He said: ‘This is a matter of law, not politics.
‘The UK can let its contracts of naval ship construction within the UK only because of obvious strategic interests.
‘If at any point Scotland were to remove herself from the rest of the UK then when the rest of the UK came to let its contracts it would be let within the rest of the UK.
‘That’s law, not politics.
‘If Scotland were to vote yes, then the rest of the UK would be looking for shipyards within their jurisdiction and yes, you would think Portsmouth would be well placed in that circumstance.’