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Engagements

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2013.

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Photo of Johann Lamont Johann Lamont Labour

I think that people in the defence industry would prefer to hear what I am about to say rather than catcalling from the SNP back benches.

Let me repeat: the United Kingdom Government has made it clear that defence contracts will not be let outside the United Kingdom and therefore will not come to Scotland if Scotland were outside the United Kingdom, which is what all those in the SNP aspire to.

The reality is that the United Kingdom has not built a warship outside the United Kingdom since the second world war. If the Deputy First Minister is so sure that the contracts would go ahead regardless, can she guarantee the rest of the United Kingdom that an independent Scotland would place orders for warships with English yards? I think that we know the answer to that. [Interruption.]