Ministry of Defence (Procurement Rules)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 13 June 2013.

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Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

9. To ask the Scottish Government what impact Ministry of Defence rules for procurement of naval vessels will have on jobs in Scotland. (S4O-02260)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I understand that the objective of the MOD’s rules is to incentivise cost efficiency in order to boost exports. As Bill Kidd will be aware, the shipbuilding workforce on the Clyde is highly efficient and renowned for the quality of its work. I would therefore expect it to be very well placed to benefit from any environment that enhances and emphasises those qualities.

Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

As the MOD currently procures equipment from overseas, including France—where Thales, which is a company with a significant presence in Glasgow and which is a major supplier to the British Navy, is located—may I suggest that a fear factor is being thrown into the equation in order to suggest that leading companies with highly skilled workers in Scotland would be barred from bidding for and receiving orders from the MOD following independence?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Yes—I absolutely agree with that. As members know, I used to represent Govan shipyard in the Parliament, and I know that the skill and efficiency of its workforce will equip that shipyard to compete, and compete successfully, regardless of the constitutional arrangements. The MOD has recently placed an order in Korea. As Bill Kidd suggests, anybody who suggests that our shipyards would not succeed in the future is not being entirely credible.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Before we come to the next item of business, members will wish to join me in welcoming to the gallery the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, the hon Fiona Simpson MP. [Applause.]