Tories push on with Trident replacement



SNP MSP Bill Kidd has condemned the UK Government as it presses forward with Trident renewal, committing to £350m worth of design contracts for the next generation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Kidd has hit out at the Coalition for choosing to prioritise the renewal of Trident, while ignoring the repeated requests of the Scottish Government for £300m in accelerated capital spending for a programme of investment in 30 shovel-ready projects across Scotland.

With every £100m of capital investment estimated to support 1400 jobs, Mr Kidd said that the priorities of the UK Government are totally wrong.

Commenting, Mr Kidd said:

“With the UK back in recession the Treasury should be investing this money in shovel ready projects to boost jobs and growth, instead of blowing it on weapons of mass destruction.

“The UK Government has its priorities all wrong when it would rather spend billions on nuclear weapons rather than investing in growth and recovery. The Tories and Lib Dems are intent on foisting a new generation of nuclear weapons on Scotland.

“Scotland doesn’t want nuclear weapons – the Scottish Parliament, a majority of MPs, civic Scotland and the Scottish public have made their opposition plain time and again.

“Whatever way you look at it, Trident is morally, economically and politically untenable – that is why the SNP will continue to fight to have it scrapped altogether.”

He also branded questioning of the so-called Moscow Criterion by Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat armed forces minister, as a desperate attempt at face saving by the Lib Dems who had abandoned their anti-Trident credentials.

Mr Kidd added:

“Nuclear weapons, regardless of their configuration, are still weapons of mass destruction. Instead of using their position to veto the renewal of these Cold War relics, the Liberal Democrats are manufacturing a meaningless tet-a-tet with the Tories.

“Let’s not forget, after going into coalition, the Lib Dems voted against their own policy to include Trident in the Strategic Defence Review. This is about face-saving by the Liberal Democrats as it dawns on them that they are getting nothing out of the coalition.”