Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Lib Dems and the Strategic Defence Review

There was good and bad news confirmed for Scotland today in the SDR.

The two carriers are going to be built, and this will save a massive amount of jobs and industrial skills on the Clyde and at Rosyth. The cross-party alliance that got behind the carriers obviously had a positive effect, although it does appear that the main factor was that the contracts would have been more expensive to cancel. As it is, one carrier will be mothballed or sold when complete, and the other will have to do without any planes for a number of years.

The bad news came from RAF Kinloss, which is due to close, and RAF Lossiemouth is very uncertain about it's future. This will be a big blow to the Moray area where one in six jobs are in some way dependant on the bases.

On a UK level, Trident is not going to be replaced this Parliament, with any decision being delayed to 2016. There are lots of Tories running around tonight saying that the Lib Dems have got their way too much.

Party President, Ros Scott explains:

"The Liberal Democrats have long argued that Trident is an out of date, unnecessary and hugely expensive weapons system that the UK has no need of in modern times. In this period of fiscal constraint it is also a luxury we can ill afford.

Nick Clegg was right to argue powerfully against Trident renewal during the Leader's Debates. Our party was right to stand in contrast to both the Conservatives and Labour on this issue.

Today, within the Strategic Defence Review, the Coalition Government announced that there will be no final decision on the like-for-like replacement of Trident during this parliament. So Trident will not be renewed this parliament - not on a Liberal Democrat watch. Let us be clear, this is a significant victory for Liberal Democrat campaigners, and a fantastic example of what our Ministers can and do achieve in government.

But the Coalition Government is not just saying no to replacing Trident this parliament. It is going further. It is also taking important steps towards the goal of multilateral nuclear disarmament. The announcement today sees a 25% cut in warheads.Today is yet another day that we can all feel hugely proud to be a party of government, delivering key Liberal Democrat priorities."

No comments:

Post a Comment