SNP Defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP has slammed a severely delayed UK government defence report which fails to address many modern security concerns and systemic failures with the Ministry of Defence.
The underwhelming Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) fails to offer any assurances on the protection of Scotland’s waters - which make up 60% of UK waters - where there are currently no Navy surface vessels positioned. The report also makes no mention of the issues of affordability with no new money announced to tackle the fiscal black hole.
The SNP has repeatedly raised the issue of security in the North Atlantic with the Secretary of State, pointing out that the Navy’s size and fleet is heavily depleted and it is clear that this programme offers no redress for these concerns.
The National Audit Office has said the UK defence budget is already strained with a multi-billion pound black hole in the Equipment Plan, with further strain expected with the impending threat of Brexit.
Commenting, SNP Defence Spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP said:
“The longest defence review in history promised to deliver better military capability and value for money for the taxpayer; what is now confirmed is that that the UK government have over-promised and under-delivered, leaving Scottish waters unprotected and conventional forces forgotten whilst piling money into the financial black hole of nuclear weapons.
“The Tories approach to the wide-ranging problems across the defence sector is too little, too late. With the Prime Minister pulling the plug on the Galileo system after Brexit, the UK is set to lose £1.2 billion in investment to Europe’s defence and is still unable to tell us what our security relationship with Europe will be.
“The UK government have confirmed their blind ignorance to the systemic problems that the Ministry of Defence faces - many as a result of Tory incompetence. Whilst the multi-million pound black hole in the Equipment Plan grows, Scotland will be forced to pay through the nose for Tory incompetence whilst getting nothing tangible in return.”