The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s announcement of a further £350m spending on Trident replacement, ahead of a parliamentary decision in 2016. It also criticised the government’s ‘shabby attempt to intervene in the Scottish independence debate’ just days after the Scottish Affairs Committee called on the government to consider the implications of potential Scottish independence for Trident.
The Defence Secretary also announced a test launch of an unarmed Trident ballistic missile in the Atlantic Ocean last week which CND branded ‘profligate and unnecessary’, at a cost of over £25m per missile and at least that for the test itself.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND, said:
‘As the government faces crisis on a number of fronts, this is a transparent attempt to boost its credibility by looking tough on defence, ignoring the fact that a decision has not yet been taken on whether or not Trident will be replaced. Its spending prior to the decision on replacement, and its profligate and unnecessary expenditure on a test firing, is deplorable.’
‘But this is also a shabby attempt to intervene in the Scottish independence debate by misrepresenting the jobs situation at Faslane. The overwhelming majority of the Scottish population opposes Trident, irrespective of whether or not Scotland is independent and understand that Trident actually takes jobs out of Scotland. Wherever they are located, nuclear weapons are a dead end, for our industry and for our economy.’