Yesterday I had an opportunity to ask not one, but two oral questions in Parliament about the UK Government’s policy on nuclear weapons.
One of my questions was on the subject of the Nuclear Warhead Replacement Project. In a response to a recent written question the Secretary of State for Defence confirmed that the new Trident nuclear warhead project of the Ministry of Defence will be undertaken entirely in the UK, using UK defence funding. I sought to press him on how much this project will cost and whether this funding will be drawn away from conventional defence programmes. You can watch my question on Parliament Live, or read it on Hansard.
My second question pressed the minister on the subject of the Astute-class nuclear submarine project, which has in recent years experienced substantial production delays and ballooning costs. (Parliament Live link here; Hansard link here)
Alongside many of my fellow Scottish MPs I continue to firmly oppose the presence of weapons of mass destruction in our country, and I am deeply concerned about the mounting costs and production times in the UK’s nuclear submarine programme, which could lead to less funding and attention given to conventional defence programmes.