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4 May 2019, 15:42
Trade union leaders have raised concerns that a generation of Royal Navy vessels could be built in Spain and not the UK.
The GMB union have said industry sources suggestedd that Navantia naval yard in Spain would be given the £1bn contract in an attempt to buy the Spanish government’s silence over claims to Gibraltar in Brexit negotiations.
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “We have been clear that the contracts for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels hold the key to the transformation of our shipbuilding sector.
“Three 40,000-ton vessels would provide years of work for yards like Rosyth, where we are haemorrhaging jobs.”
The Government says a final decision will be made next year.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy sets out the rules for new Royal Navy ships.
Rules state that warships must be built in the UK for national security reasons. But ministers have said that supply ships can be built by companies outside the UK.
An MoD Spokesperson said: “All our warships are built in the UK. Our fleet solid support ships are being procured through international competition, because there is no demonstrable national security reason why procurement needs to be restricted.“British shipbuilding yards are encouraged to bid for our fleet solid support ships.”