Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Monday, 26 November 2012

Government questioned over BAE shipyard closure reports

The government has been questioned over the possible closure of shipyards run by BAE Systems, following reports that one of the company's three yards may close due to a lack of orders.

During defence questions in the House of Commons on 26 November 2012, shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said that delay was causing uncertainty for workers.

However, Defence Minister Philip Dunne insisted the decision was a matter for the company, and criticised the previous Labour administration for not doing more when they were in office.

"The terms of business agreement which was entered into by the previous government left the decisions as to how the company should rationalise its ship building programme for another day. [Labour] weren't prepared to take difficult decisions."

BAE currently operates shipyards in Portsmouth and in Govan and Scotstoun on the River Clyde.

Elsewhere during the question session, the government was asked whether drone strikes on Afghanistan would continue after the withdrawal of UK combat troops.

Responding to Conservative MP Rehman Chishti, a critic of the use of unmanned drones, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said that "speaking for the United Kingdom, it is not our intention to remain in a combat role after 2014, and that would include combat drone strikes".

Defence: Government and opposition

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