Tuesday, 7 July 2009



The Scottish National Party has called on the UK Government to suspend several major defence decisions – including the closure of the Hebrides Range and renewal of the Trident weapons system – after it announced it is undertaking a major strategic defence review.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader and Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:

“A strategic defence review is necessary to prioritise our defence needs in a changed world, and top of the list for that review must be ditching Trident.

“It will be a sham exercise if the UK Government proceeds to commit billions of pounds to the renewal of the Trident weapons system literally months before a wider examination of the needs of our defence forces.

“The chorus against Trident grows ever louder with former NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, becoming the latest in a long line of senior defence figures joining calls for the plans to be reconsidered. These views must be heard. We cannot continue to stumble on with these hyper-expensive and ill-considered plans without examining the impact of cutting back expenditure in other areas will have.

“The defence budget must be used to ensure our troops have the necessary equipment to keep them safe and enable them to do their jobs. We should also be investing in long-term assets such as the aircraft carriers which commenced construction on the Clyde today.”

SNP MP for Na H-Eileanan an Iar Angus MacNeil MP added:

“The cut and shut approach of the UK Government is a massive threat to the Western Isles economy. The Ministry of Defence’s decision to wind down the Hebrides Range with the loss of 125 jobs would be disastrous for Benbecula and the Uists. It is exactly the type of decision that should be reconsidered in this exercise – proceeding before the review would be foolish in the extreme.”

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