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Fears over jobs at defence giant

Monday February 6th 2012

The taxpayer could have to foot a bill of £600 million if defence giant BAE Systems closes its shipyard in Portsmouth, according to reports.

BAE has put its UK operations under review in a move which could put 3,000 jobs in jeopardy at the historic yard in Hampshire.

The firm said it has yet to make a full decision, but sources told the Sunday Times that between asset write-offs and redundancies, this could cost between £400 million and £600 million.

The Ministry of Defence guaranteed BAE work for the next 15 years through a contract signed in 2009, which would take the strain of any yard closure expenses. BAE has 1,500 staff members in Portsmouth, while a similar number of jobs come from support roles.

Prospect union chiefs have said its closure would lead to economic catastrophe in Portsmouth, at a time where highly skilled jobs are crucial for growth in the economy.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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