Monday, 18 June 2018 17:15


SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has said the Tory government “can’t be trusted with Scotland’s security” following a critical new report from the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

The report, published today (Monday), calls on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to use to upcoming Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) to address “the perception of inherent and intractable chaos in Defence”, and raises concerns regarding the affordability of current MoD plans, warning “The fundamental problem is that the personnel and equipment requirements…laid down in the 2015 SDSR were insufficiently funded and consequently are unaffordable under the current settlement.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to present the findings of the MDP before next month’s NATO conference, with SNP MPs calling on the UK government to revisit the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), after many of its strategic assumptions were changed by Brexit, and after a National Audit Office report revealed earlier this year that the MoD was facing a funding gap of up to £20billion.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, SNP member of the Defence Select Committee, said:

“It is clear from the evidence the Defence Select Committee has seen that the £20billion black hole in the Ministry of Defence budget is the result of a culture of chaos, which has seen procurement decisions made without any regard as to how they would be fully funded.

“After almost a decade in power, the Tories have shown they can’t be trusted with Scotland’s security. It is time for the UK government to get back to basics, and prioritise the North Atlantic and increasing the size of a historically low Royal Navy – Brexiteer soundbites about ‘Global Britain’ ring hollow when our neighbours are increasingly worried about the UK’s ability to undertake even the most basic defence tasks. 

“The Defence Committee report also adds to the weight of evidence that the out of control Trident budget is putting an unbearable strain on the conventional defence budget, which always loses out when ever more money is needed for nuclear weapons. We must prioritise our conventional defence forces, and ensure they have the equipment and support they need to do their job.”

The Defence Committee will be publishing its Report, ‘Beyond two per cent: A preliminary report on the Modernising Defence Programme’ on Monday 18 June at 00.01am. 

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