Green MP attacks Trident
‘Spending Spree’ as MOD announces new £1bn contract

 

Defence Secretary
Philip Hammond today announced a £1billion contract to cover work on the
reactors used to power the UK’s Trident submarines, despite the fact that a
decision on renewing the nuclear deterrent will not be taken until 2016.

Caroline Lucas, MP
for Brighton Pavilion and leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:

 "The Defence
Secretary’s announcement of a £1billion contract to include the development of
reactors that will power the as-yet-unauthorised next generation of nuclear submarines
raises yet more urgent questions about the profligate spending habits of the
MoD – and the Coalition’s cowardice on a crucial political issue.

 "The Government
chose to delay the decision on replacing Trident until after the next election
in order to prevent a major Coalition fall out – and now the taxpayer is having
to stump up for technology that may not even be needed, while our public
services take the hit from austerity.

"If the Government is determined to plough ahead with this spending spree, then
ministers must give some assurances that it will be able to negotiate its way
out of these expensive contracts if the decision is taken not to renew
Trident."

 

Lucas added: "In his statement
today, Philip Hammond clearly implies that he believes Trident is necessary for
national security – despite the doubts already expressed by some in the
military about whether upgrading what is essentially a Cold War nuclear weapons
system is the right defence solution for the future.

 "This
insidious attempt to pre-empt Parliament’s decision seriously undermines our
democratic system, and sends out a worrying signal to the rest of the world
about the UK’s commitment to nuclear disarmament."

ENDS