The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed a £1.1 billion contract which it has conceded a future government might have to “negotiate its way out of”.
The MoD today confirmed the contract with Rolls Royce to include £600m for the construction of nuclear reactors for submarines and £500m for the refurbishment of Rolls Royce’s Raynesway site in Derby.
A parliamentary decision on whether or not to replace Britain’s nuclear armed submarines is not due until 2016, yet reactor cores manufactured as part of this deal would be used in a successor fleet.
Kate Hudson, CND’s General Secretary stated:
“MPs, alongside CND, have long voiced the concern that so much money will have been spent by the time that parliament comes to make a decision, that Trident replacement will be presented as a fait accompli.”
“Worryingly, this morning Nick Harvey [Minister for the Armed Forces] seems to be confirming these fears.”
“He told the BBC’s Today programme: ‘The money that has been committed today is a spend over an 11 year period, so if we decide in 2016 not to go ahead with some of these engines the government of the day would have to negotiate its way out of that, and give them some alternative work on the next submarine programme instead.'”
“Pre-empting the decisions of a future parliament is an outrageous and unacceptable way for a government to conduct business. While the public are being told to tighten our belts, it seems to be open season for wild spending at the MoD. Just weeks ago they announced £350m contracts on designing new nuclear-armed submarines. Now they’re spending on the reactors for them before parliament has even voted on whether or not to build them.”