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Defence Secretary visits Scotland

Philip Hammond was in Scotland yesterday visiting Scottish veterans, and workers at Thales Optronics in Glasgow. 

Whilst at Thales, Mr Hammond spoke about his belief that Scotland is stronger within the United Kingdom and that the UK is stronger with Scotland within it. He said:

What we have is precious. It is our shared history, our common values and our unity of purpose which makes us what we are today. It is Scotland which makes the UK united, and adds the ‘Great’ to Great Britain.

The UK armed forces are “drawn from the 4 corners of these islands”, the Defence Secretary explained, working together across the world to keep the country and its people safe and secure. He said that nothing “epitomises more the strength we derive from being a United Kingdom than the men and women in our navy, army and air force, coming together with this common purpose”.

Mr Hammond reiterated the economic importance of the UK defence industry in Scotland, which employs around 12,600 people and generates sales in excess of £1.8 billion, which would face an uncertain future should Scotland gain independence. He went on to talk about how this year holds particular historical significance to defence with the centenary of the start of the First World War.

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