A SCOTTISH engineering firm which helped build the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier says Scotland should “remain part of the UK.”
Midlothian-based firm MacTaggart Scott, which employs 350 people, has issued a statement saying that the “risks of separation far outweigh the benefits.”
It comes after Prime Minister David Cameron, who makes a keynote speech in Scotland tonight, warned that firms who spokes against a Yes vote were being threatened by the SNP Government.
Richard Prenter, Chairman of MacTaggart Scott, said: “MacTaggart Scott has been proud to supply its oldest customer, the Royal Navy, for more than a hundred years from its operations in Scotland.
“We’d like to see Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom. As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds – a strong Scottish Parliament backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK.
“In an effort to continue to be a responsible employer, we do not see it as a responsible choice for us as a company to support anything other than staying in the UK.”
The was founded in 1898 and won a £13 million contract to construct the aircraft elevators on the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier, to be launched at Rosyth tomorrow, and HMS Prince of Wales.
The family-run firm’s oldest and largest customer is the Ministry of Defence. MacTaggart Scott said that “UK Governments do not buy warships from outside their borders and consequently we believe MacTaggart Scott would find it more difficult to trade if it were outwith the United Kingdom.”
Better Together said that being part of the UK secures thousands of jobs in Scotland’s defence and engineering industry.
Mr Darling said: “This is a significant intervention from MacTaggart Scott and highlights the benefits for jobs and business to Scotland from being part of the UK. Having access to a defence budget of several billions in the UK means employers like MacTaggart Scott can win big contracts and secure the jobs of thousands of Scots.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more prosperous per head than France, Japan and the UK itself, but we need the powers of independence to make the most of our huge resources.
“As such, an independent Scotland will be a hugely attractive place to do business and to invest in. And we welcome the commitment from many businesses who are fully committed to Scotland, whatever the nation’s constitutional future.”