Controversial plans to relocate Faslane naval base to Gibraltar to prevent Spanish incursions into local waters are being blocked by the EU.

It is understood that plans to move the base came about after the Scottish government requested the move and the Government of Gibraltar were more than willing to host the facilities from HMNB Clyde.

I was told this morning by local resident, A. Mann, that the move is also expected to halt Spanish incursions into the local waters:

“It’s fairly obvious, the more powerful a vessel that is based in Gibraltar, the fewer the incursions. I have been campaigning for the entire Royal Navy to be based in Gibraltar for years now so this is a positive step.” 

The issue, however, is an objection from the European Union who said in a statement:

“We do not accept that the relocation of a major military base to an area considered by Spain to be part of Spain is an appropriate action, especially committed by a state leaving the European Union.”

We are currently awaiting a response from the UK Government.

Faslane (HMNB Clyde) is the second largest single-site employer in Scotland, after the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Faslane is one of the Royal Navy’s three main operating bases, alongside HMNB Devonport and HMNB Portsmouth. It is best known as the home of the UK’s four Vanguard-class nuclear-armed submarines which carry Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles.

Figures released by the Ministry of Defence detailed how many civilian jobs at Faslane and Coulport are directly dependent on Trident. Asked for the number of civilians working on the programme, the Ministry of Defence said it was 520.

“There are 520 civilian jobs at HM Naval Base Clyde, including Coulport and Faslane, that directly rely upon the Trident programme.”

It’s important to remember that the 520 jobs mentioned are civilians and strictly those working on Trident missiles.

However, the base does not just support Trident armed submarines. In addition to the nuclear submarines, the base is home to 10 conventional surface vessels of the Sandown class mine countermeasure and Archer class patrol vessel fleets.

Counting people supporting the Trident programme and the four submarines which host the missiles, the number comes to around 6,500 jobs. The MoD say that around 3,500 of those are uniformed Royal Navy personnel, 1,700 are contractors and 1,600 are other civilian employees.

All 11 Royal Navy submarines were to be based on the Clyde at Faslane from 2020, seeing the number of people directly employed at the base rising to 8,200.

The number of jobs directly and indirectly supported by Faslane is just under 11,000; this comes from the 6,500 military and civilian personnel employed at HMNB Clyde and a further 4,000 created through the supply chain and the local economy according to an EKOS report commissioned by Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations. The purpose of this article, aside from our usual April Fools day joke, is to highlight that reading beyond the headline should be the ‘done thing’ for every article and not only those published today. The real message behind this article is, be careful when you read news online or offline as sometimes it’s entirely false.