Shipyards ‘Doomed’ If Scotland Quits U.K., Lawmakers Say

Scotland’s shipyards would lose contracts and be “doomed” if the country votes to leave the U.K. in a referendum next year, a group of lawmakers said.

The workshops on the Clyde river in and around Glasgow would lose their status as the main British center for making Royal Navy Type-26 surface vessels in addition to export work, the Scottish Affairs Committee at the U.K. Parliament in London said in a report published today. The lawmakers urged the Scottish government to spell out how it would safeguard jobs.

“The choice faced by the shipyards and shipbuilders in Scotland is stark and clear,” Ian Davidson, chairman of the group, said in a statement. “Stay in the U.K. and Scottish shipyards have a secure source of work for decades to come. In short: Leave the U.K. and the shipyards are doomed.”

Independence is the cornerstone policy of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who says Scotland would be better off in charge of its own finances and North Sea oil, while keeping the pound and the Bank of England. Supporters of the status quo say Scotland has a stronger economy as part of the U.K.

A poll last week for the Herald newspaper showed that backing for independence hasn’t changed since Salmond signed an agreement with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in October to hold the referendum in the fall of 2014.

Respondents in favor of going it alone stood at 28 percent, the same as three months ago, according to the TNS BMRB survey. Those wanting to stay in the U.K. represented 48 percent, down from 53 percent, while the proportion of people who haven’t made up their mind rose five percentage points to 24 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Eddie Buckle at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

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