[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Devonport under withdrawal threat
Devonport dockyard
Nuclear missile submarines are refitted at Devonport
All submarines and almost all surface ships could be withdrawn from Devonport Naval Base under plans being considered by the government.

It is one of three options outlined in Westminster as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) naval review.

Devonport currently employs about 2,500 civilian and service personnel and is home to 25 major ships.

Plymouth Sutton MP Linda Gilroy has warned the city would suffer badly from any cutbacks.

When the review was announced the defence secretary warned it could result in radical reductions in capacity.

Cross-party support

Experts predict cutbacks would affect about 10,000 local jobs which depend directly on Devonport Dockyard and the 300m which it contributes to the local economy.

The review is said to have considered options from the status quo to closing all existing bases and building one big new one.

But on Tuesday Defence Minister Derek Twigg said the three core options now being considered involve withdrawing ships from Portsmouth, keeping all three bases at Faslane, Portsmouth and Devonport with cutbacks, or minimising Devonport with the withdrawal of all ships and submarines.

Plymouth's three MPs, Linda Gilroy, Alison Seabeck and Gary Streeter, have always maintained it was "vital" to retain Devonport's skills.

Linda Gilroy, who is one of the MPs on the House of Commons Defence Committee, said the dockyard was the biggest employer in the Devon and Cornwall sub-region and it was "extremely unlikely" the submarines would be withdraw.

A final decision is expected by the autumn.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Devonport's cutback is one of three options



SEE ALSO
UK docks fear over KBR flotation
15 Nov 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific