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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

The fact of the matter is that we already have joint procurement: it is called the United Kingdom. The Deputy First Minister wants to break that up and then reinvent it and pretend that there is not a difficulty. Yes, Govan is the best in the United Kingdom. I want Govan to stay in the United Kingdom so that it can benefit from that position.

I do not doubt the Deputy First Minister’s personal commitment to the individuals within Govan shipyard, but the problem is that her prospectus for Scotland threatens them and their jobs. If I were her, faced with the consequence of that prospectus, I would change the prospectus rather than explain away the concerns of those within the industry who are now highlighting these matters.

The Deputy First Minister has spoken about diversification, but there needs to be a base to work from in order to deliver diversification and there would be consequences while that was happening. Given that naval contracts could dry up within a few short years, what discussions has she had with BAE Systems about diversifying work on the Clyde? Does she have a diversification plan ready to be put in place? Can she tell the workers in my constituency when she anticipates that work on the first non-naval contracts will begin?