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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

If this was only an argument between the Deputy First Minister and me, that might have been an acceptable answer, but people are worried about their jobs and they deserve better.

John Swinney and his party have been arguing for independence for 30 years. One would have thought that they might have spoken about diversification before yesterday. Even if people agree with the SNP’s position, they know that, in order to move from one place to the other, a bridge is needed to create that security. There is no diversification plan; the SNP’s position is simply a defence against the reality it faces.

That reality is not just faced by us in the chamber: it is much more serious for those who depend on the jobs. This morning, I spoke to the shop stewards convener at Thales. He described the position that the workers are in following yesterday’s announcement as moving from uncertainty to vulnerability. That vulnerability is because the United Kingdom Government has made it clear that defence contracts will not be let outside the United Kingdom—[Interruption.]