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Cabinet (Meetings)

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

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

I thank the Deputy First Minister for her expressions of sympathy for the Portsmouth workers, as well as for those in Glasgow, who are losing their jobs. The workers in Portsmouth are also losing their yard. Everyone here is arguing with sincerity about the future of Scottish shipbuilding.

The big problem for the Deputy First Minister is that what she has said to Johann Lamont today is not what she has said in the past about procuring ships. Let us look at what she said about a fisheries protection vessel before she was a minister. She said:

“it should be reclassified as a grey ship in order that the work can simply be given to a Scottish yard.”

The Sturgeon shipbuilding doctrine, powerfully put, was that warships should be built inside the national boundary. She wanted the then Scottish Government to pretend that our fishing patrol ships were warships so that they could be built here, but now she wants the UK Government to do the opposite. Does she see no inconsistency between what she said then and what she is saying now?