In defence of employment in the union

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Various SNP spokespersons have asserted that there will be no more than 520 redundancies at Faslane and Coulport following the removal of Trident from an independent Scotland.

Only 520 job losses? Not only will Trident depart but so too will all the nuclear-powered submarines and all the surface vessels, apart from perhaps a couple of old frigates, the odd minesweeper and a few patrol vessels.

And these vessels may not even have crews to man them. So what will happen to all the high-tech jobs, the nuclear and mechanical engineers, the weapons technicians and the multitude of other supporting functions? According to the SNP, Faslane will become the headquarters of the Scottish Defence Force (SDF), bringing with it all the necessary personnel to offset the naval-related job losses.

If service personnel, and there may not be too many who would want to join an SDF, are to be relocated to Faslane, what is going to happen to Dreghorn and Redford Barracks, Leuchars, Kinloss and Lossiemouth when the numbers at these bases are reduced or even disappear totally? Furthermore, what is going to happen to their local communities? The SNP’s defence numbers, like its financial predictions, just don’t stack up. Reality has gone out the window.

Say No Thanks to independence. We are Better Together.

Stuart Smith

West Lennox Drive

Helensburgh

Hugh M Mackenzie (Letters, 15 July) repeats the reasonable concern that a Yes win would jeopardise shipbuilding jobs.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont (your report, same day) speaks of a million jobs being put at risk, presumably including those in the yards.

However, I understand that though new warships are deemed desirable no contracts have been signed nor has any political party pledged to build a certain number of ships in Scotland.

In view of the parlous state of the UK’s public finances it is quite possible that few, if any, of these ships will be built or, if they are considered vital, it may even be necessary to have them built more cheaply abroad.

Another factor to bear in mind is that following a No victory there will be no pressure on the Westminster parties to be nice to Scotland.

Indeed, as Scotland is in 
effect a Labour fiefdom, it may then be politically expedient to direct expenditure to 
English constituencies.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh