FABIANI WELCOMES OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRY IN AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed an analysis by Canaccord Genuity that shows Scotland’s defence industry would benefit from independence.

Business analyst Michael Donnelly said that the transition of the armed forces’ in Scotland after gaining independence “could provide an opportunity” for defence giant Babcock International.

The positive forecast for Scotland’s defence-industrial prospects contradicts persistent scaremongering by the anti-independence parties which have not been supported by facts.

Linda said “There is a long standing myth, laboured by anti-independence camps, that somehow Scotland is well served by UK defence procurement. This is in stark contrast to the truth, which is that there is a significant defence underspend, per capita, in Scotland compared to other areas of the UK.

“Following independence the highly skilled professionals in this hi-tech industry will be well placed to compete internationally, on a level playing field, for key defence contracts with international partners.

This analysis shows that independence offers real opportunities for business and investment in Scotland.

“Independence is an opportunity to address the decline in Scotland’s defence-industrial landscape after a decade of UK cuts which have seen the loss of thousands of direct defence and defence industry jobs.

“Far from benefiting from UK defence dividend, Scotland has been hit with a UK defence downturn.

“Indeed, just last week, the MoD confirmed that the contracts for the next generation of Royal Navy support tankers have been awarded to firms in South Korea.

“After months of scaremongering over the prospects for Scottish shipyard jobs post-independence, it is now clear that it is the UK, right now, that is creating uncertainty for the future of the sector.

“With UK decisions like this we must now have an end to the constant scaremongering by Westminster politicians who continually talk-down Scotland’s industrial prospects.”

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