Babcock released a short statement where it confirmed that
it had informed union leaders at Rosyth, where the first of the Royal
Navy's two new aircraft carriers is being assembled, that it believed
national independence carried "additional risks and uncertainties for
It has since emerged
that a growing volume of Scotland's engineering and manufacturing firms
believe that Scottish independence "would not serve the interests" of
their industry, according to a recent survey conducted by Scottish Engineering.
organisation, serving 400 engineering, electronics and shipbuilding
firms in the region, and employing up to 2,500 people, said it’s survey
showed that only a small minority of engineering companies backed
independence, with some looking to reserve judgement until they had
access to more information.
findings came as three engineering unions at Rosyth said Babcock also
warned that the MoD would likely cancel future military contracts at the
Fife yard if there was a “yes” vote in the September referendum.
Similar warnings were issued last year about BAE contracts at Scotstoun
and Govan on the Clyde, where the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier
hulls are currently being built.
conceded that Scotland's future was a matter for its voters but added:
"As a company with a major footprint in Scotland, the possible changes
to Scotland's financial and regulatory environments following a vote for
Independence create, in our view, additional risk and uncertainty for
said it had asked its members four questions: whether they thought
independence would be good for the industry; whether that was a matter
for voters and parliament; whether more information was needed on
taxation or currency; or whether independence would be bad for their
The organisation refused to
release precise numbers of votes but said the number who ticked "would
not be in the interests of the manufacturing engineering industry in
Scotland' outnumbered the total of all those who chose the other three
Bryan Buchan, Scottish
Engineering's chief executive, said: "There was a substantial response
from our membership. The majority of those responding indicated that, in
their opinion, independence would not be in the interests of the
manufacturing engineering industry in Scotland."
Brown, the Scottish transport and veterans minister, said jobs at
Rosyth would be protected. His government was convinced that the UK
government would drop its rules forbidding foreign yards building
capital warships after independence; UK ministers have insisted those
rules will be upheld after a yes vote.
pledge to support shipbuilding and defence jobs in Scotland regardless
of the outcome of the referendum - it is a shame that no campaign
politicians seem unable to do likewise," Brown said. "Let's not forget
that the number of Ministry of Defence civilian workers in Scotland has
been cut by almost 60% since 2000 – meaning that a no vote brings huge
uncertainty for the industry."