Tuesday, 24 July 2018 04:57


SNP Defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald MP has said that reports the Royal Navy Type 31e Frigate programme has been suspended are ‘utterly shocking‘ and as they come on the very last day of parliament before recess are ‘deeply cynical even for this untrustworthy government.’

The reports suggest that the programme for the next generation of frigates for the Navy has had to be suspended and delayed on the grounds of cost. This follows a series of order cutbacks – broken promises and betrayals – as the MoD struggles with a massive budget  ‘black hole‘ – falling numbers of service personnel and a continuing obsession with squeezing the conventional defence budget to pay for Trident renewal.
Stewart McDonald MP commented :
‘’Suspending this vital programme on the very last day of parliament is the kind of thing we have grown to expect from this deeply cynical untrustworthy government – but it is still utterly shocking. The Ministry of Defence has been unable to answer the most basic questions about the cost  of this new Type 31e frigates and today they have had to own up to their own chaotic failures.
‘’This has deeply serious consequences for our naval defence capabilities and the future of the shipbuilding across the UK . The MoD now has questions to answer about the disarray of their naval capabilities. How small will the Royal Navy fleet be and for how long will it be depleted ? : are the UK  government going to stick to their budget of £250 million per vessel – if not how much ? and will they now have to invest in extending the life of the Type 23 frigates ? This is an utter mess and the Tories only have themselves to blame. 
‘’Time after time the Tories make claims about shipbuilding being safe in their hands only for the workforces to be hammered by u turns - lies and broken promises. Today’s reports will be just another hammer blow from the Tories who think they can do anything to Scotland and get away with it.
‘’The Scottish Tories need to wake up to the threats to our shipbuilding industry from their own incompetent government  and stop dismissing SNP concerns as ' scare mongering' as they do every time I raise them in parliament.
‘’This is proof that yet again on the last day of parliament that the Tories cannot and must never be trusted on shipbuilding.’’

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