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The SNP’s Defence spokesperson, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, will lead a debate today (Wednesday) calling for greater scrutiny over the UK Government’s handling of the nuclear weapons infrastructure in Scotland. 

In December 2023, Dominic Cummings, the Former Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, released a statement in which he referenced the “fundamentally critical issue [of] the scandal of nuclear weapons infrastructure which is a dangerous disaster and a budget nightmare of hard-to-believe and highly classified proportions.”  

The MP for West Dunbartonshire has demanded that the Ministry of Defence investigate these comments as a matter of urgency, saying that “while nuclear weapons remain on Scottish soil” the Whitehall department must take the necessary steps to ensure any structural and mechanical issues at Faslane or Coulport bases are addressed to protect the workers and surrounding communities.

The warnings of the Former Chief Advisor caused particular concern, given there had been numerous reports of Royal Navy nuclear submarine emergencies in recent months – including in November 2023, when a mechanical fault aboard a Vanguard submarine caused an unplanned deep dive by the vessel, endangering the lives of 140 crew onboard.

The SNP has repeatedly called for Trident – the UK nuclear weapons programme based in Scotland – to be scrapped for good.

Commenting, Martin Docherty Hughes MP said:

“The UK government must investigate and come clean over whether there is any truth to the comments made by the former Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor.

“The SNP are clear that the nuclear weapons programme should be scrapped. However, whilst the UK government continues to impose the billion pound Trident programme upon Scotland, and while it remains on Scottish soil, the Ministry of Defence has a responsibility to ensure any structural or mechanical issues within either Faslane or Coulport bases are addressed as a matter of urgency. 

“By failing to take the necessary steps, they are placing the lives of the workers and those in the surrounding communities in danger and making clear their blatant disregard for Scotland.”

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