Wednesday, 30 November 2016 07:06

ANOTHER delay in shipbuilding strategy 'completely unacceptable'

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SNP Defence spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP has said the UK government must end ‘unnecessary and worrying delays’ in the delivery of a National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The comments came as Sir John Parker published his report into the future of shipbuilding – which will lead into a final strategy from the Ministry of Defence.

Brendan O’Hara commented :

“It is now confirmed that the shipbuilding strategy will not be published until the ‘spring of next year’, despite repeated guarantees from the Tories that it would be signed, sealed and delivered well before that. Another delay for the industry is completely unacceptable.

‘’The MoD told us the strategy – vital to our shipbuilding industry - would be complete by the autumn statement last week at the latest.

“We are now told it will be spring next year before we can see any firm plans and that means more unnecessary and worrying delays for the workers, families and communities that depend on shipbuilding.

“These concerns about another Westminster muddle will only be heightened by some of the recommendation in this report with clear implications for yards on the Clyde in particular.

''When Tory Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon says in relation to shipbuilding there needs to be a "rebalancing" in Britain's industrial strategy – that will cause great concern to workers who have been let down by Tory broken promises so many times. He needs to explain -in detail - what that means and he needs to explain it now.

‘’The UK Government is now asking us to wait yet again to find out the fate of Scotland’s shipbuilding. Yesterday we saw the scribbled notes on the back of a bit of paper that amount to the UK’s incoherent Brexit strategy. The Tories are in disarray because they got us into a mess of their own making.

‘’Today’s report is a distraction for shipyards and shipbuilding in Scotland – who deserve better than this. We were promised a National Shipbuilding Strategy – it is completely inexplicable why we have another delay - we need one now with no more waiting.‘’

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