HMS Queen Elizabeth warship is a UK success story, says David Cameron


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The Prime Minister told workers involved in building the largest warship for the Royal Navy that it is a “UK success story” as he visited the Scottish dockyard where it is being assembled.

David Cameron was speaking to construction workers in Rosyth, Fife, ahead of a meeting with First Minister Alex Salmond in Edinburgh where a deal is expected to be signed granting Holyrood the power to hold a referendum on independence.

Mr Cameron visited the Babcock facility to meet apprentices and staff building the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

It is the first of two 65,000-tonne ships under construction for the Navy, and six shipyards around the UK are involved in building various parts of the vessel, which are ultimately being assembled in Fife.

It is due to be completed by 2016, with HMS Prince of Wales following later.

Around 200 workers gathered at the dry dock in Rosyth as Mr Cameron told them it made him "really proud" to see the "incredible result of British and Scottish engineering".

He said: "I think this is the success story that the whole of the United Kingdom can take great pride in. Just as the Olympics showed what we can do when we come together, you're showing it right here in Rosyth with this incredible feat of engineering.

"This has been and still is an immense task and, as soon as you have completed this aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales will follow, and I am very proud to be standing here and to say thank you to you.

"As was said at the Olympics, we want to make sure 'Made in the United Kingdom' is a badge we can be really proud of and I believe that, with these aircraft carriers, you here in Rosyth are making it is absolutely clear that it is something we can all be really proud of."

The 11,000-tonne hull section of the vessel is being prepared for its 600-mile journey from Govan Shipyard in Glasgow to Rosyth. The aft section is being loaded on to a barge today and will take five days to travel round the coastline to the Fife dockyard next month.

The vessels are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

Each of the carriers will be used by all three sectors of the Armed Forces and will provide a four-acre operating base which can be deployed worldwide.

When finished, the warship will be 920ft (280m) long, 230ft (70m) wide and 184ft (56m) high from keel to masthead, 13ft (4m) taller than Niagara Falls.