UK Nuclear Deterrent

Defence – in the House of Commons on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

What steps his Department is taking to maintain the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

Four new Dreadnought class submarines will enter service from the early 2030s, and we will replace the current nuclear warhead. We keep our nuclear posture under constant review in the light of the global security environment. About 30,000 jobs across the nuclear enterprise are dedicated to maintaining and delivering the deterrent, now and tomorrow.

Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

The Government will be aware of a recent opinion poll that shows that Trident enjoys 58% support among Scots, yet the SNP and Green Ministers in the Scottish Government wish to see us remove Trident and even leave NATO altogether. Given the current international crisis, does the Defence Secretary think their position is wise?

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

It is certainly the case that the SNP cannot have it both ways. It wants to have an independent Scotland and join NATO, while also removing part of its nuclear defence. I notice that the First Minister alone said in 2021 that an independent Scotland would be a “keen signatory” to the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. That would make it the only NATO country to be a signatory to that treaty, and it is a clue to how the SNP says one thing and does another.