CLYDE YARDS MUST NOT PAY THE PRICE FOR TORY OBSESSION WITH TRIDENT AND BREXIT
SNP Defence spokesperson Brendan O’Hara MP has said it would be an absolute disgrace if the Type 26 programme on the Clyde was put into an ‘indefinite delay’ as has been suggested today at Westminster.
The MoD must now be clear about the level of uncertainty the Type 26 programme faces following comments at the Defence Select Committee today. The new Defence procurement minister could give no assurances on the future of the contract – promised to the Clyde yards – and has once again placed in doubt the future of the programme.
Brendan O’Hara MP had already asked the Defence Secretary on Monday if the massive expense of Trident and the recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that UK GDP might be reduced by up 3.5% as a result of the Brexit vote would result in a “black-hole” in the public finances of up to £40 billion in 2020, and what that meant for defence procurement. The Defence Secretary could give no answer.
Brendan O’Hara MP commented:
“This latest blow to the Type 26 programme is an absolute disgrace.
“When I asked about the scale and range of cuts to the Defence budget because of Brexit and the huge cost of Trident – I got no answer. Today Harriet Baldwin has given us part of the answer. Her comments about the Type 26 programme will have been no comfort to the workers on the Clyde who now look like they are facing an indefinite delay .
“This would be an utter betrayal to those workers – their families and the communities that depend on the work. We have had assurance after assurance from Tories at Westminster and Scotland and now we are facing the continuing uncertainty and mismanagement of this vital project.
“The enormous cost of Trident appears to be spiralling out of control – and it would be completely unacceptable and unforgivable if the Clyde yards had to pay the price for the Tory obsession with Trident – a weapon of mass destruction that 58 0ut of Scotland 59 MPs opposed this week – and an economic black hole caused by Brexit.’’