THE UK Government’s shipbuilding strategy is “flawed” and takes the country back to the 1980s when yards closed due to increasing costs according to MPs.

A Glasgow SNP and Glasgow Labour MP have called on the Ministry of Defence to fund a Frigate Factory on the Clyde and imminent orders for larger auxiliary ships to be block built in UK yards and not given to international competitors.

Three new royal Navy support ships will be built but no UK yards have bid for the work leading to conclusions they will be built abroad.

However Chris Stephens, Glasgow South West SNP MP and Paul Sweeney, Glasgow North East Labour MP, want the ships to be built in blocks in different yards like the aircraft carriers.

This would allow all yards to have work to sustain their future and the Clyde yards to be the ‘Frigate Factory’ the UK government previously promised.

Mr Stephen said the competition introduced by the Government will not provide value for money and will put jobs at risk.

He said: “Our real fear is that the national shipbuilding strategy is going back to the thinking of the 1980s, which suggested that shipyards should be in competition with each other. Such thinking has only ever led to shipyards closing.”

Mr Stephens said the auxiliary ships should be built in the United Kingdom.

He added: “This country has just completed a process during which the Aircraft Carrier Alliance was built across shipyards in the UK. If that was good enough for the Alliance, surely it is good enough for Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. I do not believe that sending Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships to international competition will save the Ministry of Defence money—far from it.”

Mr Sweeney called for the Government to provide the investment needed for the frigate factory.

He said the frigate factory would deliver an integrated, consolidated site which would achieve efficiencies and provide value for money for the Royal Navy.

He also called for the larger ships to be built in blocks then assembled in one yard.

Mr Sweeney said: “No one site in the UK would be capable of building such a ship alone.That is the key opportunity: to use that distributed block build strategy to sustain shipbuilding capacity across all the multiple sites in the UK.”

The shipbuilding strategy was debated by MPs in the House of Commons where the case for Glasgow building the frigates was made.

The Clyde yards were originally promised 13 type 26 ships which was to secure work in the Govan and Scotstoun yards for decades.

The order was then reduced to eight Type 26 ships but the Clyde yards were to have been given five smaller Type 31 ships.

It later emerged that the smaller ships were unlikely to be build on the Clyde.

The Ministry of Defence later decided that the Type 31 contract wold be put out for competition among UK yards.

BAE which owns the Glasgow yards has entered a partnership with Cammell Laird in Merseyside to bid for the work. It is expected, if BAE is successful, that the design work would be done by staff in Glasgow and the manufacturing of the vessels taking place in the English yard.