David Cameron tells Scottish voters to reject independence to safeguard thousands of defence jobs

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Prime minister David Cameron says he is committed to keeping defence jobs in Scotland in a pro-UK speech, which he hopes will make voters reject Scottish independence.

The defence sector in Scotland employs 12,600 people, which amounts to 0.5% of the working population. The prime minister will today issue a 'rallying call' to the defence industry to oppose breaking away from the UK, warning thousands of jobs are at risk if the country votes for independence.

In a statement issued ahead of a visit to a Trident nuclear missile submarine in Clyde, west Scotland, Cameron said: "Being part of the UK opens doors for the Scottish defence industry around the globe.

"When we sell Typhoons overseas, this benefits jobs and growth for companies making components in Scotland.

"Scotland counts for more on the world stage because it is part of the United Kingdom and Scottish defence jobs are more secure as part of the United Kingdom.

"Defence matters and defence jobs matter," he concluded.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) said that Cameron should use his visit to Scotland to apologise to Scottish communities for "constant broken promises on defence".

Angus Robertson, defence spokesman for the SNP, said: "We have already heard the prime minister admit that commitments made to communities around Scotland have been broken, but there has been no apology.

"It is just the same old, same old from Westminster, which reduced Scotland's service personnel jobs by 27.9% between 2000 and 2010, when the it was only 11.6% across the UK.

"Successive Westminster governments oversaw the destruction of the Scottish regiments, and contributed to a massive £7.4 billion defence underspend in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK.

"It just shows that when it comes to defence Westminster isn't working for Scotland, and an independent Scottish Parliament would take far better defence decisions for Scotland."

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