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BAE Systems says No vote will offer 'greater stability'

Defence company BAE Systems has become the latest firm to wade into the independence debate.

In its annual report the company said a No vote offered "greater certainty and stability" for its business.

BAE, which employs thousands of people in Scotland, joins a list of firms, including Standard Life, Royal Bank Of Scotland, Shell, Lloyds and Barclays, that have highlighted the risks associated with the September vote in recent weeks.

A Better Together spokesman said the comments were an "important intervention from one of Scotland's largest employers".

He added: "Alex Salmond may think thousands of shipyard jobs are a price worth paying to achieve his lifelong dream of independence, but most people in Scotland don't agree."

A spokesman for Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the comments, saying the "simple fact is the Clyde, with its hi-tech yards and world-class workforce, is the only credible place in these islands with the capacity to build these ships."

The spokesman added: "Defence companies are used to working within changing international parameters, and will continue to do so within an independent Scotland."

Shadow Scottish Secret­ary Margaret Curran said: "It is time the SNP came clean with people across Scotland and admitted their plans for shipbuilding do not add up."

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