As it happened - BAE shipyard job cuts

Key Points

  • BAE Systems announces that it is to cut 1,775 job cuts, 940 of them at its shipyard in Portsmouth, and will consult with unions next week
  • The other 835 job losses will be spread across Glasgow, Rosyth in Fife, and Filton, Gloucestershire
  • Naval shipbuilding will end at Portsmouth but the shipyard will stay open with remaining staff focusing on repairs and maintenance work.

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    Hundreds of workers are waiting to hear about the future of their jobs after news that defence company BAE Systems is to announce cuts at three UK shipyards. We will be keeping you up to date with the latest news and reaction.


    The yards - at Govan and Scotstoun on the Clyde, and in Portsmouth - have been under review for almost a year. It is now thought that Govan will be saved.


    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says although shipbuilding will stop at Portsmouth it will not mean the closure of the shipyard, which currently employs 1,200 people. It is expected that some of them will still be employed working on ship repair and maintenance.


    The government is thought likely to announce a package of measures to mitigate job losses, including a "city deal", says the BBC's political editor.


    After BAE details the changes to its workers, there will be a statement from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, due at 12.30 GMT.


    The job losses are expected to result from a reduction in work following the completion of two Royal Navy aircraft carriers.


    Some of the jobs being lost may be offset by a contract to build the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship. But BAE Systems has yet to announce which of its UK shipyards will be chosen to carry out the work.


    The leader of Portsmouth Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has questioned why a decision is being taken before the referendum on Scottish independence next year.


    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Portsmouth is the last place in England that has the ability to build advanced warships for the Royal Navy and I'm very concerned that with a potential independence vote in Scotland, if Portsmouth shipbuilding is shut down, what would remain of the UK would have no ability to build advanced warships."


    BBC Radio 5 live's Your Call is currently on air talking specifically about the shipyard cuts. If people are affected or want to talk about the move they can call 0500 909 693, text 85058 or tweet @bbc5live. You can listen online at

    BAE shipyard at Govan

    The shipyard at Govan was founded in 1864. You can read more about its heritage in this background feature.


    Portsmouth's history is even more illustrious. The site has been used for more than 500 years and is where Henry VIII 's flagship the Mary Rose was built.

    Barry Doust, in Portsmouth

    My father worked in the Portsmouth dockyard all of his life. He told me that during the dark days of WW2 a Tory government minister visited the yard and promised that in recognition of their dangerous but essential work NO future conservative government would EVER close Portsmouth navy support facilities. What of that firm promise ?


    The BBC's South of England political editor Peter Henley has been exploring Portsmouth's shipbuilding history.


    Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth Council, has now been talking to BBC Radio 5 live and returned to the theme of what would happen if the Portsmouth shipyard closes and then Scotland votes for independence next year. "It would be very dangerous for the defence of the country," he says.


    The BAE announcement was originally expected on Thursday but was brought forward, amid reports in the media.

    Pam Braddock, in Gosport

    I am disgusted that this government, in an effort to bribe the Scots, is prepared to sacrifice the city which has been the home of the Royal Navy and shipbuilding for five hundred years. What will happen if the independence vote is against the Union. England will have no shipbuilding capacity left. I am heartbroken and very, very angry about this.


    BBC political editor Nick Robinson examined the political issues in his blog yesterday. At the time, when there had been speculation during the day speculation that Govan would be the shipyard to close, he said any decision to close a Scottish yard "would be regarded as a political gift to Alex Salmond".


    BAE Systems currently has 3,200 staff at Govan and Scotstoun, with another 1,200 in Portsmouth, which is also the UK's naval base.

    Catherine Sinnamon, in Greenock, Scotland

    Just two days after The One Show shows huge new cranes being delivered to London so it can be a super port. What a coincidence. Of course I'm affected, the whole of Scotland is affected. I am realising more and more that we may well be better on our own.

    Jason Sessions, in Coulsdon

    Decision should have been made after referendum. If Scots vote 'yes' the UK won't even be building its own naval vessels. So much for rebalancing the economy, England loses out again.


    The leader of the Scottish Labour party, Johann Lamont, whose Holyrood constituency includes the Govan yard, said there was now a bit of "dilemma" about the timing of the independence referendum. And what I'm very clear is, that we don't want to see the workforce across the United Kingdom set one against another."


    Portsmouth South's Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock said workers would be "devastated" by the development. "Everyone going into the yard today are going in there unknowing whether they have a future or not. That is a personal tragedy for them and a catastrophe for the city of Portsmouth to lose so many highly skilled jobs which will be virtually impossible to replace in that line."

    1002: MoD employee

    who works in warship support in Portsmouth says the job losses will affect the quality of future warship production. He told the BBC: "I survey warships in a quality control capacity and have seen the impact of laying off workers at other naval bases. We had trouble making the first two boats after previous redundancies, there was just defect after minor defect. If there are too many problems it can't go to sea."


    Ian Woodland, South East regional officer for the Unite union says the BAE job losses in Portsmouth will affect the whole of Solent area. He said the Tories were "clueless about how to deal with BAE job losses in Portsmouth. Where will these people work? Skilled workers on the scrap heap. There are no jobs for these workers."


    Earlier on BBC Breakfast, Harry Donaldson, the Scottish secretary of the GMB union, warned that the shipyards should not be used as a political football. Any decision on their future "needs to be about communities, it needs to be about people", he said. You can watch the interview again here.

    Writer and Labour councillor Rowenna Davis

    in Southampton and Southwark tweets: Gutted to hear BAE is set to announce closure of Portsmouth shipbuilding. Thoughts with the 1200 workers, so many of whom are from Soton.


    Dr Phillips O'Brien, director of the Centre for War Studies at Glasgow University, tells BBC Scotland: "This is the kind of industry where the number of jobs is smaller than the political impact it would have. Shipbuilding in Glasgow has such a large political pull. If you look at what has been going on in the referendum campaign, the west of Scotland has been a little more sceptical of the SNP, a little more sceptical of the Yes campaign. It has more invested in Britain's military complex and if you see jobs going away in that area it might weaken some of the more Unionist sympathies."


    BBC Scotland correspondent Laura Bicker at Govan said despite reports the yard would not close there was still a very tense atmosphere at the site. Work on two new carriers ends in 2015 and staff say they are waiting to hear if BAE's announcement will throw any light on contracts after this date.

    Govan shipyard

    Ahead of the announcement workers have been arriving for their shifts at BAE's Govan yard.


    So who is BAE Systems? Its own website points out it is a very global company with 88,200 "skilled and passionate" employees in the UK, US, Australia, India and Saudi Arabia. Almost half of them - 34,800 - are based in the UK.


    An official announcement from BAE Systems is excepted at 11:00 GMT. It is thought that officials started to brief staff at Portsmouth in the last 30 minutes.


    @BBCJamesCook tweets: Staff at Govan to be told of BAE's decision on job cuts at 11am says one worker who describes a feeling of trepidation.


    Arriving at Govan, Alex Taylor, a plater, said: "This is a decision that is out of the hands of the ordinary working man."


    Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney said there had been "dialogue for some time with BAE Systems on the issues surrounding the future of the Clyde shipyards". He added the government was "very alert to the situation concerning both yards".


    BBC Scotland correspondent @LJBicker tweets: Hundreds of workers are heading into a meeting at Govan as job losses are feared. One tells me decision is out of their hands.


    BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says he has been told that staff will now be addressed at 11.00 GMT and, after being given the details, will then be sent home for the rest of the day.


    Mr Hancock said it was a "personal tragedy for the families affected and for the region as a whole".

    Portsmouth is trending on Twitter

    Journalist Claire Frenchtweets: Outside BAE Systems base in #portsmouth. Lots of staff movement inside the complex now. Expected to have been briefed at 10am re job losses. Graeme_GZ_Baxter in Dunfermlinetweets: Portsmouth sacraficed in attempt to save the union? Hope its not just a short term measure until the indy ref. No more orders after 2015.

    1056: Breaking News

    BAE Systems is to consult on 1,775 potential job losses, including 940 in Portsmouth and more than 800 in Scotland, sources quoted by the Press Association say.


    Speaking to the BBC News Channel, Lib Dem MP Mr Hancock said he understood the prime minister and Department of Business would make an announcement later. It would focus government help for Portsmouth, aimed at helping firms in the city maintain a central role in the UK maritime industry sector.

    Luke Dodd‏

    tweets: In mass meeting in dockyard , is this the end! #dockyard #Portsmouth


    BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says that a senior defence industry figure told the BBC that as long as two years ago BAE Systems had recommended to the government that shipbuilding at Portsmouth should end.


    Maureen Frost, executive director of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "Losing the shipbuilding side is devastating news for the city. It's also about the supply chain and those small businesses that supply into BAE Systems so there's going to be a major impact."

    Alex, using the BBC News iPad app

    in Dunoon, Scotland: "Why are we surprised this has happened? In February last year the government awarded the contract to build four brand new British military super tankers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary to a South Korean shipyard at a cost of 450 million pounds. These ships are classed as British military vessels and will support the Royal Navy and armed forces around the world, yet we build them abroad at the tax payers expense?"

    1109: Breaking News

    BAE confirms it is to consult on job cuts of 1,775. These are made up of 940 in Portsmouth in 2014 and 835 spread across sites in Glasgow, Rosyth and Filton, Gloucestershire, through to 2016.


    BBC Scotland correspondent Laura Bicker at Govan said there had been speculation about the future of the yard for months but it will not close. She said: "It will remain open but there is still a huge gap in the order books. Once work on the current aircraft carrier contract is completed in 2015 there is no more work here. there is hope that the work on type 26 frigates will come to Glasgow by 2016."


    As the workers file out of the meeting at Govan and go home hours before the end of their shift, none will speak to reporter BBC Scotland correspondent Laura Bicker. She says the mood is tense.


    David Hulse, of the GMB union, confirmed that no shipyard will be closing but said "there are substantial job losses in the pipeline". He added: "There is no doubt that this is a devastating day for the UK shipbuilding industry and the company will have justify to us the job losses planned."


    Mr Hulse, the chairman of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions' shipbuilding national committee, said a two-day meeting with BAE would take place on Monday and Tuesday next week. It will "examine in detail the business case and all aspects for scheduling work in the yards to complete building the carriers, starting work on the Type 26 ships and any other work".

    1118: Luke Dodd

    updates his Twitter status: We all get sent home! #dockyard

    1122: Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    We're expecting Scottish government reaction on the announcement shortly from deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Meanwhile, it's a safe bet that BAE job cuts will be raised during Scottish questions at Westminster, which begins at 11:30.

    1124: Breaking News

    The BBC's chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym reports that BAE Systems will build the next generation Type 26 Frigate in Glasgow, which will "consolidate" shipbuilding on the Clyde.


    In a statement, BAE says: "Following detailed discussions about how best to sustain the long-term capability to deliver complex warships, BAE Systems has agreed with the UK Ministry of Defence that Glasgow would be the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships.

    "Consequently, and subject to consultation with trade union representatives, the company proposes to consolidate its shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability, positioning it to deliver an affordable Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy."


    BAE adds that Portsmouth-based engineers will be retained to support the design and development of the Type 26 frigate programme.


    @BBCJamesCook tweets BAE Systems to make statement outside Govan shipyard shortly we are told.


    BAE said it was being hit by a "significant" reduction in workload following the peak of activity on the current aircraft carrier programme.


    It said it "remains committed to continued investment in the Portsmouth area" which is the centre of its maritime services and high-end naval equipment and combat systems business.


    BBC Scotland correspondent Laura Bicker says few workers wanted to speak as they left a meeting to hear about job losses in Govan. Shop steward Jamie Webster told the waiting press that he remained resolute. He said they had not brought young people into this industry on the Clyde to watch them leave. He said they were bruised not battered and they had faced adversity before and they will face these cuts head on.


    Ian Waddell from the union Unite described the announcement as "worrying". He said: "We will have to examine the BAE business case in detail to see how we can secure a future for the workforces at both Portsmouth and in Scotland. We believe that, if this is approached in a constructive and innovative way, it can be achieved."

    Ed in Portsmouth

    tweets: Shipbuilding closed in Portsmouth. Apprentices kept on until course is finished. #BAE


    BBC Scotland reporter Julie Peacock says workers at Scotstoun, one of the two Clyde shipyards, have been sent home for the day. They were read a statement by management which told them that 800 jobs would go across the Clyde but were not given a breakdown and were not given a chance to ask questions.

    Sarah, in Southampton

    After the closure of the Ford Transit factory in Southampton, now the imminent demise of shipbuilding in Portsmouth, this area is devastated. I have relatives who worked at the Ford factory, others working at the BAE site; those with bankable skills are looking to move abroad. The feeling here is "there's nothing left in Britain, nothing for our kids - this country is finished".

    1139: Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron believes that the shipbuilding job losses are "difficult decisions" taken in the "national interest", according to his official spokesman.


    Questioned as to whether the Scottish independence referendum had played a part in the decision, the prime minister's spokesman said it "was taken with a view of how we have the best-equipped, best-maintained Royal Navy. That is the basis on which it was taken".

    1143: Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Scottish questions is under way at Westminster. Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary, says the BAE job cuts announcement is "a day we always knew was coming". Mr Carmichael says he'll work with any party and the Scottish government to address the issue.

    BAE worker, in Glasgow

    We have received information that apprentices and development programmes should be safe and will be a part of the future work force.


    Following the BAE announcement, the Ministry of Defence said it had also commissioned three ocean-going offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy to be built by the BAE yards on the Clyde. It will provide work between the completion of the current aircraft carrier contract and the start of the Type 26.

    Joanna M-C

    tweets: The historic and proud Portsmouth dockyard deserves so much better. Devastated for friends who will lose jobs. #proudtobefromportsmouth


    BBC Scotland's Julie Peacock at the Scotstoun yard on the north bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow said: "Workers have been sent home for the day. They were read a statement by management which told them that 800 jobs would go across the Clyde but they were not given a breakdown of those figures between the two yards (Govan and Scotstoun). They were not given a chance to ask questions. Workers said they were worried and disappointed but it was not unexpected."


    Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has also given more details about government investment for Portsmouth. More than £100m will be invested in the naval base at Portsmouth, which will be home to both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales carriers.


    On the three new patrol vessels, the defence secretary said: "This is an investment not only in three ships but in this country's warship building industry. It prevents workers standing idle and sustains the vital skills needed to build the planned Type 26 frigate in the future."

    BAE Systems

    tweets: We have issued a statement regarding naval sector restructuring in the UK.


    It's coming up to midday on Wednesday, which means it's time for our regular live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions from the House of Commons - and it's a fair bet that David Cameron may face an inquiry or two about today's announcement - and whether the Scottish independence vote had any influence on where the cuts were made. You can follow developments on this separate live page.


    The Ministry of Defence tells the BBC the redundancy costs associated with laying off 1,775 workers from BAE systems will be borne by the taxpayer.

    1157: Kerry, in Portsmouth

    tweets: Very sad day for #Portsmouth My glorious city.


    Explaining the reasons for the taxpayer picking up the cost of the restructuring, an MoD spokesman said: "It is quite normal that provision should be made for redundancy costs to be met at customer expense; this is in accordance with government accounting procedures."


    The union Prospect has also voiced concerns at the impact on local economies. Deputy general secretary Garry Graham added: "For an island nation and in this time of increased global uncertainty, we should be seeking to maintain our shipbuilding capacity, not reduce it."

    Patrizia O'Mahoney from Portsmouth

    has previously worked at HMNB Portsmouth. She is angry at the new announcement as she believes it will have a negative effect on the city. Patrizia told the BBC: "I was immensely proud to be continuing a family tradition and also to be involved in some small way in protecting my country from alien forces. Never mind the politics, keep us safe from harm, keep the skills, the tradition and strategic position of our nation's premier naval base alive, keep Portsmouth afloat."

    1206: Nick Robinson Political editor

    says the announcement will continue to lead to questions about whether the Scottish independence vote had role in the decision."Take many hundreds of job losses, add the fact they're in a strategic industry, stir in the end of more than half a millennium of shipbuilding history and top it all up with the raw politics of Scottish independence. What you have got is a very potent brew," he writes on his blog.

    1209: Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    The BAE announcement has been made against the backdrop of next September's Scottish independence referendum and the related arguments over future naval orders with shipyards north of the border if there's a "Yes" vote. In public, Scotland's political leaders insist their focus right now is on people's jobs, and not constitutional matters. But Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson told Newsnight Scotland of his concerns last night that, "if Scotland votes to become independent, there will be no ability to build complex warships in what remains of the United Kingdom".

    Michael Scanlan

    tweets: I come from a family of shipbuilders and it's heartbreaking to hear about the job losses in Portsmouth and the Clyde.


    tweets: Can't believe shipbuilding is stopping in Portsmouth. A lot of my family down South have worked there for years!


    In the Commons, the SNP's Angus Robertson attacks David Cameron and Ed Miliband for not addressing the subject of shipbuilding job losses. The PM says he was surprised the Labour leader didn't raise the issue. He adds that, if Scotland became independent, there would be no warships at all.v


    David Cameron tells the Commons that "extremely difficult decisions" had been taken but warships will continue to be built on the Clyde.

    Royal Navy River Class offshore patrol vessels HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey

    The new offshore patrol vessels to be built in Scotland are to replace the smaller HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey seen in this photograph supplied by the Ministry of Defence.


    In a statement issued by the MoD, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, said: "These new patrol vessels will build on the proven performance of the River Class by adding a flight deck to take the Navy's Merlin helicopters and by adding operational flexibility through extra storage capacity and accommodation."

    Marc, in Southampton

    texts: Absolutely gutted. I completed my apprenticeship for BAE a couple of years ago in Portsmouth and was told it would be a job for life. Now I'll be joining the queue at the job centre.


    Hampshire Country Council's executive Member for economy, transport and environment Sean Woodward said the announcement was major blow for the region but BAE have confirmed their long term commitment to Portsmouth. "BAE Systems' operations are a critical component of the Portsmouth economy, and Hampshire County Council will support any efforts to retain shipbuilding in the City, to ensure that Portsmouth continues to play a key role in the Navy's operations into the future."


    Although some commentators are lamenting the end of 500 years of naval shipbuilding at Portsmouth, the BBC's business unit points out that it's not quite been an unbroken history - it previously stopped in 1967 and only resumed in 2003 after a 36-year hiatus.


    Labour councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "This is a dreadful blow to a highly-skilled and dignified workforce. However, there clearly remains a sustainable future for shipbuilding on the Clyde for decades to come. I have today spoken to both trade union officials and BAE. I've been assured that additional orders will come to the Clyde to cover the period after the work on the carriers ends, and that Glasgow is best placed to build the Type-26 frigates."


    Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is now making his statement in the House of Commons.

    BAE employee in Portsmouth

    I have worked at the Portsmouth site for over 8 years. Since BAE took over shipbuilding in Portsmouth I have felt less and less like a person and more of a number, but today it makes me realise that I am meaningless to the likes of these fatcats. I am working the night shift tonight and I am being made to come into work today just to be told I have to go home so I can think about having to find a new job next summer.


    Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock was interviewed by the BBC's Andrew Neil on BBC2's Daily Politics show after BAE Systems confirmed the job losses. He said "500 years of tradition is now going to be swept away".

    Robert Mclintock

    tweets: Portsmouth is trending on twitter what is this government doing ripping the heart out the city by destroying its main industry #ships

    Philip Hammond addresses the Commons

    Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he had been told that BAE was hoping to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.


    Many workers said they had been "forbidden" to speak to the media as they left the Portsmouth yard. But one, who did not want to be named, described a "bad mood" among staff. He said: "There's about six months work left. It's not really unexpected, we knew it was coming."

    Pat, in Portsmouth

    Stop slating BAE; if the Government hadn't slashed defence spending we wouldn't be in this situation. If the MoD/government hadn't changed QEC designs, we wouldn't be in this situation. If the government hadn't awarded ship building contracts to Korea, we wouldn't be in this situation. The blame rests with this, and past governments, not with BAE.

    Lynsay Keough, in Glasgow

    Can I just clarify that David Cameron has actually said that 'if Scotland become independent, there would be no warships at all.' I think that's quite a clear message to Scotland.


    Charlie Blakemore, business transformation director at BAE Systems in Govan, told BBC Scotland's Laura Bicker: "Unfortunately we are coming off a peak of unprecedented manufacturing activity in our shipyards and going forward we are having to match our future capacity with the workload that we have got."


    In the Commons, the defence secretary said the aircraft carrier contract that the coalition had inherited from Labour when it came into power in 2010 was "not fit for purpose". Arrangements were in place that would require the MoD to pay BAE staff to do nothing. Today's announcements put that legacy behind us, he said.


    Labour's Vernon Coaker, making his most high profile statement since being promoted to the post of shadow defence secretary, asks Mr Hammond to confirm that BAE's restructuring was in Britain's best interest.


    Mr Coaker then tackled the key political issue that has been raised following today's announcement, asking: "What safeguards are in place if Scotland votes to leave the UK? None of wants to see that but we need to know what plans he [Mr Hammond] has in place for all eventualities."


    Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "This has been a business decision made by BAE Systems and it should be viewed as such, despite the inevitable political debate that will surround the circumstances of the decision. Although the loss of jobs is of a very significant scale, it is clear that BAE Systems foresee a important future for shipbuilding in Glasgow."


    "We have a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry in the UK - as of this announcement" - Defence Secretary Philip Hammond in his Commons response.


    tweets: @portsmouthnews gutted. So tearful. Culture and indentity ripped from us and job losses are devastating


    Workers leaving Govan earlier remained tight-lipped when asked by the media to comment on the announcement.

    Workers at Govan

    The defence secretary also gave more details about the proposed government funding for Portsmouth to provide a boost after today's news. He said the government is "in negotiations" about granting it a "city deal". That gives a council more freedom from Whitehall to secure funding for major spending projects designed to boost economic growth.


    Caroline Dineage, the Conservative MP for Gosport in Hampshire, is quite clear when she is asked by BBC Radio 4's The World At One whether she believes that English jobs are being sacrificed for Scottish ones. "Yes, definitely," she replies.


    Conservative MP Gerald Howarth tells BBC Radio 4's The World At One that it is "clear under the law" that if Scotland ceases to part of the UK that MoD contracts awarded to Scottish shipyards would have to be put out to tender.

    1328: Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Defence Sec says no order will be placed for 13 new frigates until end of next year when design clear (oh & after result of Scot referendum)


    University of Portsmouth academic Dr Michael Asteris tells the BBC the knock-on effects of the decision to stop building warships in the city could mean up to additional 3,000 jobs will be lost in the local supply chain.

    1334: Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Reacting to the BAE announcement, Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells the BBC that the Clyde is the right place for the Type 26 combat ship to be built. She adds any suggestion that a "Yes" vote to independence will lead to the work being taken away from Scottish yards is "preposterous". In any case, UK Defence Secretary Phil Hammond has just told the Commons that no order for the new ships will come until the end of next year (ie after the referendum) when the designs have been finalised.

    Gary Stewart, Sunderland

    emails: Really feel for all the Shipyard Works affected by today's announcement, but more so Portsmouth itself. Coming from Sunderland, which had the Shipyard industry wiped out in the late 80s, I've borne witness to the city entering a downward spiral which it's never recovered from. Call centres and industrial estates are not a substitute alternative for the pride and skills a Shipyard generates.

    S. Collier, Bury

    emails: Seems complete madness to shut Portsmouth's dockyard when Scotland may vote for independence. How is it in the UK's national interest to have no shipyard if Scotland becomes independent?


    The shadow defence secretary questioned Mr Hammond on the work the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills would be doing to help both people losing their jobs and to protect shipbuilding skills.


    Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is speaking for the Scottish government because Alex Salmond is currently on a visit to China, tells the BBC she is relieved that Govan shipyard is not closing. But she adds: "800 job losses is a devastating blow for the shipbuilding industry on the Clyde and the broader Scottish economy."


    BBC Scotland correspondent Laura Bicker was having no joy trying to elicit comment from Govan shipyard workers as they left the site. You can watch how, one-by-one, the men maintained their silence on what they'd been told.

    Laura Bicker talking to a Govan worker

    Mr Hammond said discussions had bee taking place for more than a year about the "challenges these inevitable changes present". He added unions "do recognise the level of employment in naval shipbuilding represented a surge around the carrier project that was never going to be sustainable in the long term. The challenge now is to protect the skills base as we downsize the industry".


    The debate following Mr Hammond's statement in the Commons has now come to an end.


    Charlie Blakemore, business and transformation director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said the news was "clearly extremely difficult but the announcement does provide clarity and security of work on the Clyde". He added: "We are now entering into a period of consultation and are working closely with affected employees to explore all ways of avoiding, reducing and mitigating potential job losses."


    Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells the BBC: "The Clyde is the best place to build these ships - no disrespect at all to Portsmouth. The investment that we've seen in the Clyde yards in recent years, the skill mix of the workers in the Clyde, make the Clyde the best place to build these ships - there's no doubt about that."

    J, Govern, Scotland

    emails: As a former BAE Systems employee, and a Govanite whose family has long been intertwined with shipbuilding on the Clyde, I find today's announcements sad but not unexpected. What frustrates me greatly is that, given the world-leading expertise at building cutting edge warships on the Clyde, how scandalous it is that the current management have singularly failed to develop export sales for the shipyards. Their focus on the UK sector has been myopic, and the lacklustre management of BAE should hang their heads in shame at how poorly they are doing on export warship sales.

    Colin, Enfield

    emails: This is very bad decision. If Scotland votes for independence, then navel vessel building will be outside of the UK. A more sensible approach would have been to remove all future shipbuilding from Scotland, with the primary reason cited as the uncertainty created by the independence referendum vote.

    Mark C, West Sussex

    emails: A very sad day for Portsmouth shipyard and not forgetting all the other businesses this will effect in the area. Having grown up & served my apprentice working for the likes of Marconi/Vospers/Rolls-Royce in the area this is a real blow. I have many friends who work there, and many family members how have over the years. My eldest son really wanted to get an apprenticeship there and become the next generation. As I work in Supply chain the real impact of this will be seen in the next 2-3 years as many of the businesses that supply & support the shipyard will slowly disappear.


    Stuart Patrick of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce welcomed the decision to keep both of the city's major shipyards open. He said: "Aside from the politics surrounding this announcement and the most unfortunate job losses, we are pleased that Glasgow has been recognised as the UK's technological centre of advanced shipbuilding."

    Daphne, Southampton

    emails: Once described as the centre for 'Building of the Kings Ships' More battleships have been built in Portsmouth than any other shipyard in Great Britain !! Now it comes to light that Scotland will be building 3 Offshore Naval Patrol vessels, they will undertake completion of the Aircraft Carriers and also start the building of the new Type 26 Frigates. Now tell me there is no politics surrounding this very, very bad decision in relation to the Scottish Independence Referendum!


    The discussions of how 1,775 jobs will be cut is set to continue in meetings with unions at BAE sites next week. While there has been plenty of political comment today, it's been noticeable that the shipyard workers involved have largely maintained their silence so far. That may change - and our news story will be updated with all the latest developments throughout the day.


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