DELAY IN DECISIONS IS CAUSING ‘ENORMOUS DAMAGE‘ TO DEFENCE
West Dunbartonshire SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, a member of the SNP’s Defence team at Westminster, has called on the UK government to end the “enormous damage” caused by the delay in the Type 26 frigate programme and has stressed again that the Clyde yards have waited but “cannot wait any more”.
In a debate held by the MP at Westminster, Mr Docherty-Hughes said the MoD must not break its promises and that workforces and communities on the Clyde need certainty now about the programme and the timetable.
Despite repeated assurances from the Tory government there is still absolutely no confirmation about a timetable for this vital programme.
Martin Docherty-Hughes SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire commented:
“The Tories have to understand that they are doing enormous damage to the defence of Scotland and the United Kingdom by failing to live up to any of their promises about the future of shipbuilding.
“The failure to cut steel on any vessels and an ongoing refusal to fulfil promises on a ‘frigate factory’ on the Clyde is loading enormous pressure on the already complex warship building capacity – which the UK government has promised unequivocally to protect.
“The government knows this is causing insecurity for thousands of skilled and dedicated workers on the Clyde who are feeling increasingly let down.
“Behind the broken promises and procrastination we have had to go through so far, the MoD have proven beyond doubt one maxim put forward by the SNP time and again: every penny spent on Trident is a penny less spent on conventional defence.
“The Clyde has waited and waited until the planned date for cutting steel came and went; until it emerged that there was a £750 million gap in infrastructure investment; and until it became clear that the UK government was ignoring all our questions. We cannot wait anymore.’’
Note for editors
The full debate can be read in Hansard at https://hansard.digiminster.com/Commons/2016-10-18/debates/8FD3C123-5B5C-494F-B222-062774E8F301/Type26FrigatesClyde#contribution-27F29EF7-9E38-470F-B92C-0C974C9693D6