Vernon Coaker MP Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to news that BAE Systems is to cut jobs at its shipyards, said:
“Britain’s shipbuilders are the best in the world. They have proven that over centuries of service to our Royal Navy and our country. This is a difficult day for all of those who take pride in our maritime prowess and the history of our nation.
“My first thoughts are with the employees who are facing job losses, their families and the communities they live in.
“It will take time to fully examine the consequences of today’s announcements by BAE Systems and the Government. But two things are clear. Firstly, the Ministry of Defence is to meet the cost of restructuring the Naval Shipbuilding business across Britain. We need to see all of the detail about how much that will cost and how the cost will be met. Secondly, Britain must retain a sovereign ship-building capability. None of us want to see Scotland leave the United Kingdom, but we need clarity from the Government about what safeguards are in place to meet all eventualities after next year’s referendum.
“We now need to concentrate on ensuring the unique skills and abilities of the shipbuilding workforce across the UK are maintained and developed, and I look forward to hearing details about how the Government can support that.”