29 Oct 2012

Defence Secretary responds to Salmond’s Trident plans

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is to make an important announcement on the future of Trident, one which is expected to directly challenge Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s plans to remove Trident from Scotland in the event of Scottish independence.

Mr Hammond is expected to announce an additional £350 million of funding for the next stage of nuclear-armed submarines during a visit to the River Clyde in Scotland.

The plans for further investment into the Trident nuclear deterrent are in direct conflict with the SNP’s policy to remove nuclear weapons from Scottish soil in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the 2014 independence referendum.

Mr Hammond said: “The UK government is not planning around the possibility of a yes vote in the referendum. We are very confident that the Scottish people will recognise the value of remaining within the UK and choose to do so.”

Mr Hammond said that the £350 million investment would provide up to 1200 new jobs to the people of Scotland, and experts have suggested that replacing the current system could cost as much as £20 billion.

The SNP’s recent conference vote to continue its anti-nuclear weapons stance but adopt a pro-NATO policy has been met as a victory by Mr Salmond, but has also led to the resignation of some senior party MSPs.

The UK Government’s stance to effectively ignore the SNP’s plans is one which will no doubt be challenged by Mr Salmond in the next few days.

We’d like your opinions on this issue. Do you think the Government is being disrespectful to the SNP, or do you agree with Mr Hammond that Mr Salmond is ‘playing irresponsible games’ with the UK’s nuclear deterrent?

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