Scottish independence: BAE Systems says Union 'offers stability'

BAE Systems' Govan shipyard BAE Systems employs hundreds at its Govan shipyard on the Clyde

BAE Systems has said continued union between Scotland and the rest of the UK offers "greater certainty and stability" for its business.

The defence firm offered its opinion in its annual report.

BAE employs about 3,000 workers on the Clyde and is helping to construct two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

The Scottish government said the country's shipyards would be able to bid for any MoD contracts that were put out to tender after independence.

BAE chief executive Ian King said he believed "the decision on independence from the UK is a matter for the people of Scotland".

Start Quote

The MoD places contracts with companies in Korea - so there is no reason that it could not do so with companies in Scotland”

End Quote Scottish government spokesman

Mr King continued: "BAE Systems has significant interests and employees in Scotland, and it is clear that continued union offers greater certainty and stability for our business.

"In the event that Scotland voted to become independent, we would need to discuss the way forward with the Ministry of Defence and UK government, and work with them to deliver the best solution in those circumstances."

The company recently agreed to begin advance work on three new Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) after the Ministry of Defence signed a £20m parts contract.

They will be built at BAE Systems' two Glasgow shipyards at Govan and Scotstoun.

A spokesman for Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Clyde "is the only credible place in these islands with the capacity to build these ships."

The spokesman added: "Scotland's shipyards have the expertise to secure UK and worldwide orders - and following independence there will also be orders for the Scottish Defence Force.

Start Quote

The idea that we could leave the UK but UK warships would continue to be built here simply isn't credible”

End Quote Better Together spokesman

"Scottish companies will also be able to bid for any MoD contracts that are put out to competitive tender. The MoD places contracts with companies in Korea - so there is no reason that it could not do so with companies in Scotland."

He said defence companies were used to working within "changing international parameters" and would continue to do so if Scotland backed independence.

But a spokesman for the Better Together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK described BAE's comments as an "important intervention" from one of the country's biggest employers.

He said: "The defence industry employs thousands of people in Scotland because we are part of the UK. If we walk away from the UK then we walk away from the UK investment that sustains the jobs of so many communities throughout Scotland.

"The UK government has never built a warship outside of the UK. The idea that we could leave the UK but UK warships would continue to be built here simply isn't credible."

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    Louise Renicks

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    Kimberley Renicks

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    The Queen watches the hockey

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    If you want to know who wins when at Glasgow 2014, check out the BBC Sport app. Here is a guide on how to set up the alerts on your phone.

     
  80.  
    Bowls banter 11:41: Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    As Norfolk Island begin their lawn bowls campaign today against Canada, read the story of the island's sports minister Tim Sheridan who has left his briefcase at home and will take part in his third Games in Glasgow.

    You can watch the lawn bowls competition live.

     
  81.  
    Bring it on... 11:30:

    Stuart Brown sent us this selfie with his wife Rachel and daughter Phoebe as they wait for the gymnastics to start at the Hydro.

    Stuart, Rachel and Phoebe brown

    Tweet us your pics using #ScotlandLive, or email them here.

     
  82.  
    Scottish clubs in action 11:23:

    Three Scottish clubs are in action tonight in second legs of Europa League qualifying.

    Motherwell will be in Iceland to play UMF Stjarnan, with the first leg finishing 2-2. Kick-off is at 20:15.

    Motherwell vs UMF Stjarnan

    St Johnstone, meanwhile, are at home to FC Luzern after drawing 1-1 with the Swiss last week. The action gets under way at 19:45.

    Finally, Aberdeen are in Holland to play FC Groningen. The sides played out a goalless draw in the first game. Kick-off for that one is at 18:30.

    There will be updates of all three games Radio Scotland and the BBC Sport website.

     
  83.  
    Opening ceremony - your views 11:17: Via Email

    James in Glasgow: The opening ceremony definitely gave a very warm welcome to all our visitors and made a great impression for the city on the world stage. I'm a very proud Glaswegian today! PS: Are there any Scottie dogs still for sale in Scotland?!?

    Steve Bruns tweeted: Embarrassing is the word that springs to mind.

    Alex Gray tweeted: I loved the Opening: great to see such variety esp my favourite musician, Nicola Benedetti.

     
  84.  
    Great Scotties 11:05:

    The wee Scottie dogs that stole the show as they accompanied each nation around Celtic Park at the opening ceremony have become an internet sensation.

    Scottie dog

    Fans have been taking to Twitter - of course, they now have their own hashtag, #ScottieDogs - to show their love. And it seems some of the canines lived up to their breed's reputation for stubbornness.

    Jacqui McKinnon told BBC Breakfast her pet Jock unexpectedly staged a sit-down protest.

    She said: "The dogs dealt with it really well; it's just Jock decided he wasn't walking. As soon as I put his Malaysia coat on he thought 'I'm sitting down'. So Jock was the one who was carried around the Celtic stadium."

     
  85.  
    Miley sets Commonwealth record 10:54:

    Hannah Miley has qualified for the 400m Individual Medley final after winning her heat at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    Miley set a Commonwealth record to win the race with a time of 4:38.27. The final will take place just after 19:00 tonight.

    You can watch the swimming heats live on the BBC Sport website.

     
  86.  
    Unicef appeal reaches £3.1m 10:47:

    The fundraising appeal for children's charity Unicef made during the opening ceremony of the Games has reached £3.1m.

    James McAvoy and Chris Hoy

    More than 500,000 people in the UK responded after watching an appeal by James McAvoy and Sir Chris Hoy at Celtic Park.

    A total of 595,000 people have made donations by text alone, Unicef UK said, with many more contributing online.

     
  87.  
    Millions tuned in 10:33: Via Twitter BBC Scotland

    tweets: Last night's coverage of the #Glasgow2014 #OpeningCeremony was watched by a peak audience of 9.4m on @BBCOne!! #bbcglasgow2014

     
  88.  
    Opening ceremony - your views 10:24: Via Email

    Ray: The Opening Ceremony had warmth, humour and inclusivity in its organization. Loved it. It was also great to see John Barrowman pronouncing to the world through his same sex kiss, that it's safe to be LGBT in Scotland. Bravo Glasgow, Bravo Scotland, Bravo John Barrowman.

    Lorna: Wonderful event. Great idea to raise money for children, however why did red arrows not show Scottish colours of blue and white instead of red, white and blue?

    Sandra: Thoroughly entertaining display. But the gay kiss was completely unnecessary, with disregard for the feelings or attitudes of many of the other participating countries.

    Anna in Galloway: The first 10 minutes or so were cringeworthy and the singing was dire! It definitely improved as time went on, although I feel I must be alone in the country as I did not like the Scotland team's outfits or "the kiss"!

    Irene in Kinross: Sir Chris Hoy is an honorary Clydesider!!! I loved the way he graciously stepped forward to help with the baton and then stepped back. An example for us all.

    What do you think? Tweet using #ScotlandLive, email us here, or text to 80295.

     
  89.  
    Farah's 'tough' decision 10:04:

    Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has described his decision to pull out of the 5,000m and 10,000m events as Glasgow 2014 as "tough".

    Mo Farah

    Speaking from his training base in the south of France, he added: "I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it's not ready to race yet. Best wishes to my fellow athletes in Glasgow."

    Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: "It is a real blow for any athlete to miss out on a major championships through injury, but to have fought so hard to regain full fitness and to have to take such a difficult decision at this stage is particularly hard."

     
  90.  
    Farah out of Games 09:58: Via Twitter BBC Sport

    tweets: Team England have confirmed that Mo Farah will not compete at the #Glasgow2014 Commonwealth Games

     
  91.  
    Today's weather 09:55: Gillian Smart BBC Scotland Weather Presenter

    Mist and low cloud will burn off to leave another day of strong sunshine and rising temperatures.

    We'll see 25C to 28C quite widely, with 29C possible in parts of the north and south west. Eastern coasts will be cooler, with haar at times.

    See my full forecast.

     
  92.  
    Glasgow from the sky 09:52:

    Scotland's largest city has changed over the years in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

    Glasgow from the sky

    BBC Scotland's Chris McLaughlin took to the skies to see how the Games have transformed the city's landscape.

     
  93.  
    BBC at the Quay 09:47: Via Twitter BBC Scotland

    tweets: Here's what we have in store @BBCthequay today: free entry, big screen & comfy deckchairs too!

    BBC at the Quay

    Some tickets are still available here.

     
  94.  
    Opening ceremony - your views 09:36: Via SMS

    Chris in Hamilton: Nicola Benadetti couldn't help smiling as the crowd joined in with her amazing performance of Loch Lomond.

    Calum: Nicola Benedetti was fantastic - shed a tear at that. Not so keen on Barrowman's pantomime singing but I thought it was pretty great and we should be proud.

    Anon: What a great idea to incorporate fundraising for such a good cause into this high profile event

    Letty from Aberdeenshire: Thought it was great, only complaint was Rod Stewart - why? He is not Scottish in any way, Proclaimers would have been better choice.

    Anon: The first part of the ceremony made me cringe with its tweeness. Why is so much Scottish TV so excruciatingly naff? And surely we have some great personalities who could have presented it? Parts of the ceremony were OK though.

     
  95.  
    Baton hitch 09:19:

    It spent ten months travelling around the world, but last night we had to wait just a little longer than expected to hear the Queen read her message from the inside the baton.

    Problem with Queen's Baton at opening ceremony

    Watch as Prince Imran of Malaysia, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, struggles to open the Commonwealth baton.

    Sir Chris Hoy - ever the hero - was on hand to help out, before Prince Imran eventually managed to remove the message much to the relief of the monarch... and the organising committee.

     
  96.  
    Glasgow Kiss 09:11: Via Twitter Nicola Sturgeon

    tweets: So many brilliant moments last night, but the new-style Glasgow Kiss had to be one of the best #openingceremony

    Glasgow kiss
     
  97.  
    Morning call 09:09: BBC Radio Scotland

    This morning, like everybody else, we're talking about last night's opening ceremony. presenter Kaye Adams wants your views: did it represent us the way you would want?

    Elsewhere, two prisoners serving life sentences say rules that bar them from voting in the referendum breach their human rights and are taking their case to the Supreme Court. We're asking: should prisoners be allowed to vote in the referendum?

    Lines are open. Call us on 0500 92 95 00, text 80295 or email morningcallscotland@bbc.co.uk.

    You can listen to the debate here.

     
  98.  
    Watch the Highlights 09:00:

    Did you miss it? Want to see the Scottie dogs again?

    Scottie dog

    Take four minutes out of your morning to watch highlights of the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony.

     
  99.  
    And we're off! 08:46: Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Day one of competition has officially started!

    Moments to look out for today include Scotland's Hannah Miley, a swimming gold medallist at the last Games in Delhi, starting the defence of her 400m Individual Medley in the pool just after 10:30.

    Elsewhere, Olympic cycling champion Jason Kenny will take part in the men's sprint at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at 11:00.

     
  100.  
    Opening ceremony - your views 08:44: Via SMS

    Anonymous: I thought Glasgow put on a fine show last night, and the text for charity at the end was a splendid touch. I sent my £5.

    Paul: I lasted 10 mins b4 heading to A&E to get my toes uncurled.

    Anne-Marie, Edinburgh: So, so proud of you for what you did, Glasgow. You were fantastic!!!

    Anna, St Andrews: Why John Barrowman....? Just cringemaking. Amy Macdonald & co magic!

    Alan, Brechin: Opening ceremony thumbs up, Rod Stewart thumbs down.

    Hil, Glasgow: The Scotland team outfits were incredibly beautiful & inspiring - after all the unjust criticism, designer Jilli Blackwood is to be congratulated.

    Keep them coming... Twitter #ScotlandLive, email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk, text 80295.

     

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