Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Experts split on warship building deals

Defence experts have told a committee of MPs it would be "inconceivable" for an independent Scotland to build warships for the rest of the UK.

The statement was made to Westminster's Scottish affairs committee.

John Louth and Trevor Taylor, from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), expressed concerns.

But Ian Godden, chairman of the Farnborough Air show, believed a go-alone Scotland could sustain its multi-billion pound defence industry.

He believed that given the modern-day defence industry, new contracts were international and not national in nature.

Mr Godden added that the industry north of the border was in a strong position because of the level of experts in the field.

The Scottish affairs committee is looking at a whole range of issues connected with the possibility of an independent Scotland.

Dr Louth said at the current time the UK had too much shipbuilding capacity with yards on the Clyde and at Portsmouth.

He added that there was only enough work for one yard and if independence went ahead he believed the UK government would either place the work at Portsmouth or open orders to competition throughout the European Union.

The UK government has yet to say where or when it plans to place orders for the next generation of warships, the so-called Type 26 ships.

Scotland's independence referendum is due to take place in autumn 2014.

On Tuesday, the Scottish Affairs Committee heard from the bosses of the two referendum campaigns.

Blair Jenkins of Yes Scotland and Blair McDougall of Better Together answered a series of questions on the referendum question and the funding of the campaign.

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