Dunfermline MSP Dismisses “Scaremongering” Rosyth Dockyard Claims

MSP Bill Walker has referred to a question about Rosyth Dockyard, raised by Labour MP Thomas Docherty to the UK Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, as “scaremongering at its absolute worst”.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Mr Docherty had asked the Minister in London to confirm that “In the light of the sensitive nature of carrier work … if Scotland were to leave the United Kingdom, my constituency would not be able to compete with English yards on a level playing field”.

Dunfermline MSP Mr Walker, whose constituency borders Rosyth, said:

“The assembly of two aircraft carriers is already underway at Rosyth — the only dockyard in Britain capable of taking these vessels for their assembly and then servicing and refitting thereafter.

“There is no other dry dock large enough for this kind of work in England or elsewhere and, of course, no other dockyard can boast greater experience of working on warships of this type.

“I am absolutely confident that this project will continue at Rosyth. If no English yards can compete, is Mr Docherty perhaps trying to hint that the work will go overseas, perhaps to France or Germany?  To do so would make a nonsense of his claim about the ‘sensitive nature of carrier work’ being prohibitive to an independent Scotland gaining contracts from England, the implication of which, in my opinion, is shameless scaremongering at its absolute worst.

“No constitutional change can alter the fact that there isn’t a dry dock anywhere in England, or anywhere else in Britain, capable of taking these vessels. The technical experience too is in Rosyth, and it would be nice if Mr Docherty could recognise the positive skills in his own constituency instead of talking Rosyth down.”

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