Jump to content

Carriers decision 'on knife edge' as MoD rules out single vessel


Recommended Posts

The Scotsman/David Maddox:

THE future of the £5.2 billion Royal Navy aircraft carriers project is "on a knife edge", with ministers set to make an all-or-nothing choice on whether to have two carriers or none, The Scotsman has learned.
The revelation comes after coalition ministers were forced to deny yesterday they had already decided to postpone the replacement of the UK's nuclear weapons.

A leak suggesting the Trident replacement might be postponed led former Liberal Democrat
leader Sir Menzies Campbell to say the future of Britain's nuclear deterrent had become "a de facto part" of the government's strategic defence review (SDR).

Senior Tory back-bencher Bernard Jenkin called on Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene with the Treasury to make sure funding for Trident was in place.

The government also had to deny reports that a Tory minister was preparing to quit in protest over defence cuts.

Speaking during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels, Mr Cameron said: "We believe in Britain's independent nuclear deterrent. We believe in maintaining it, we believe in updating it, and the coalition agreement is very clear about that.

"But at the same time, it is quite right we should ask the question, 'Are we getting full value for money from the renewal that will take place?' It is right that we should ask those questions and that's exactly what's taking place now."

The Scotsman understands a briefing to some Conservative MPs suggested the Ministry of Defence had discarded proposals that just one of the two aircraft carriers should be built as impractical; a minimum of two is required to maintain a naval presence when one is undergoing repairs.

However, with the MoD still having to find £38 billion of savings in the SDR, there is a fierce debate over whether either of the carriers will be built in what was described as an "all-or-nothing" choice.

One concerned Tory MP told The Scotsman: "I understand the decision is on a knife edge."

Labour West Dunbartonshire MP Gemma Doyle said the government needed to "end the confusion" over Trident and the carriers.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson warned the SDR could result in defence spending becoming mostly focused on the south of Englandsnip
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1695656256
  • Create New...