Cancelling a multi billion-pound contract to build five new Type 32 frigates at Rosyth shipyard would be “catastrophic” for Scottish shipbuilding, the SNP has warned.

Work on the £2.5 billion new frigates was expected to ramp up at Rosyth from 2028 and was expected to employ more than 1,200 jobs.

However, The Times reports that the contract may be dropped or cut in the upcoming defence review by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The Type 32 frigate programme was first made public by Boris Johnson in November 2020 as part of a pledge to restore “British influence and excellence across the world’s oceans”.

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Responding to the reports, SNP Defence spokesperson Dave Doogan said: "The Ministry of Defence (MoD) habitually vires money from one budget allocation to shore up another more immediate overspend, only to subsequently reflate the donor budget at a later date. It’s a dysfunctional way of accounting but they seem wedded to it.

"I very much hope that is what the Admiralty are doing with Type 32 because cancelling this work would be catastrophic in operational terms for the Royal Navy and in industrial strategy terms for Rosyth, the wider supply chain and shipbuilding in general.

"If the Prime Minister cancels Type 32 it would represent a gross betrayal of Scotland and of industry partners, principally Babcock, who have invested so much private capital in Rosyth and are right now delivering the extraordinary Type 31 frigate together with unprecedented value for money to the taxpayer.

"All the more remarkable as the MoD is profoundly unused to securing value for money in many of its innumerable procurement disasters.

"It's already clear that UK Government’s commitment to domestic shipbuilding is now fatally flawed with their award of the Navy’s three Fleet Solid Support ships to Navantia in Spain, but any move to reduce frigate orders would signal a return to a famine in ship orders and will make a mockery of Sir John Parker’s universally lauded National Ship Building Strategy."