A stronger and fairer future for Scotland – my visit to Scotstoun with Vernon Coaker MP

On our visit to the BAE shipyard at Scotstoun in Glasgow today it was brought home to us what a huge decision the Scottish people are set to make this September – whether to stay in our union or to leave the UK. We do not have a vote, but we strongly hope Scotland stays in.

The future of shipbuilding on the Clyde has been secured by UK Ministry Of Defence contracts which independence would put at risk. That’s why workers here are rightly worried about jobs and what separation would mean for their families.

Scottish companies sell four times as much to the rest of the United Kingdom as they do to the rest of the world combined. While BAE Systems alone employs 3,600 staff in Scotland, and the defence industry supports up to 15,000 jobs. If Scotland votes to leave the UK then economics, politics and security means there would be serious consequences for current and future defence contacts – putting those jobs at risk.

At our Shadow Cabinet meeting today in Glasgow, Ed Miliband and our shadow cabinet colleagues will be discussing how the next Labour government can help deliver a stronger and fairer future for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Labour is promising a very different future from Cameron and Osborne: action on youth jobs, getting rid of the bedroom tax, a fairer approach to deficit reduction with a 50p top rate and action to end the abuse and exploitation of zero hour contracts as Ed Miliband will speak about later today.

We can do things in a different way and a fairer way, but if Scotland chooses independence that will cost jobs and growth in Scotland.

As we have said, we are clear that the next Labour government cannot enter into a new sterling monetary union to share the pound with an independent Scotland. A Euro-style monetary union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would mean Scotland would have to live with an economic policy not suited to Scotland, with a direct impact on Scottish jobs and growth. It would involve simply unacceptable fiscal and economic risks for the rest of the UK. And interest rates would be higher in the UK and Scotland as a result.

Being part of the UK is good for jobs here – and a currency union between the UK and a separate Scotland cannot work, will be unstable and bad for both a separate Scotland and the rest of the UK. We strongly hope that Scotland will vote No this September, and that together we can then chart a better Labour future for Scotland and the UK.

Ed Balls is MP for Morley and Outwood and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Vernon Coaker is MP for Gedling and Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • email
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Twitter
Posted April 25th, 2014 by Ed

Leave a Reply