from Sunday Herald, 12 April 2015
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun work on stationing new Trident submarines on the Clyde before the UK parliament has decided whether or not to give them the go-ahead, the Sunday Herald can reveal.
The MoD has launched a series of studies into how the Faslane and Coulport naval bases can accommodate larger “successor” submarines to replace the four existing Trident boats. But the decision on whether they will be needed is not due to be taken until next year by the MPs that will be elected next month.
The revelation has sparked outrage from the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Scottish Greens and anti-nuclear campaigners, who accuse the MoD of pre-empting a democratic decision. It comes on the eve of a mass ‘scrap Trident’ blockade that aims to close down Faslane on Monday.
The SNP’s defence spokesman, Angus Robertson, is writing to the Conservative Defence Minister, Michael Fallon, demanding to know what is being spent on preparing the Clyde for new Trident submarines. “The MoD has been caught out again,” he said.
“This raises some very serious questions for the MoD, as costs are being incurred before there has been any democratic scrutiny, debate or even approval,” he said. Spending money at Faslane to get ready for the next generation of Trident before a single parliamentary vote “would be completely unacceptable”, he argued.