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Queen names new warship amid Scotland, defence budget uncertainty

Published on Jul 4, 2014 11:38 PM

ROSYTH (REUTERS) - Queen Elizabeth officially named the biggest warship Britain has ever built on Friday amid uncertainty over Scotland's coming independence referendum and future British defence spending.

A crowd of 4,000 gathered in this Scottish port to watch pipe bands and dancers perform before the monarch pressed a button to smash a bottle of Scotch whisky against the hull of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of two new aircraft carriers worth 6.2 billion pounds (S$13.2 billion).

British Prime Minister David Cameron was in the audience along with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, a champion of independence in the Sept. 18 vote, and stressed the links between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

"HMS Queen Elizabeth is the flagship of our nation's maritime ambition," Cameron said in a statement released by his office. "She is an investment in the future of British security, British prosperity and our country's place in the world."

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