I’m back­ing Bri­ton’s na­tional de­fences

Nu­clear de­ter­rent is worth the price

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Tri­dent re­newal is far from in­com­pat­i­ble with mul­ti­lat­eral dis­ar­ma­ment.

The best way to con­vince fel­low nu­clear pow­ers to re­duce their stock­pile of weapons is to en­gage in a tit-for-tat process; that sees coun­tries work to­gether to re­duce their hold­ings and stop the spread of these weapons.

Sim­ply abol­ish­ing our own ar­se­nal does noth­ing to take this for­ward and it’s wish­ful think­ing to imag­ine other na­tions would hap­pily fall into line.

Of course, there’s an ex­tra Scot­tish di­men­sion to this de­bate; the 6,700 peo­ple em­ployed at Faslane.

For years, Tri­dent has sup­ported skilled jobs on the Clyde and the de­fence sec­tor is a vi­tal part of the Scot­tish econ­omy.

We must pro­tect these jobs and I’m pleased the Chan­cel­lor re­cently an­nounced a £ 500 mil­lion in­vest­ment into Faslane.

From 2020, it will be the Royal Navy’s Sub­ma­rine Cen­tre of Spe­cial­i­sa­tion with all of the UK’s un­der­wa­ter ca­pa­bil­ity based in Scot­land. This is ex­pected to in­crease the num­ber of jobs at the base to 8,200.

This in­vest­ment is not about Tri­dent re­newal - that de­ci­sion will take place next year -- it’s about sup­port­ing Scot­tish in­fra­struc­ture and the jobs re­liant upon it.

Con­trast this ap­proach with that of the SNP. They claimed the in­vest­ment was “ar­ro­gant” (which is a strange way of look­ing upon sup­port for Scot­tish in­dus­try) and con­firms their ob­ses­sion with cast­ing ev­ery­thing the UK Gov­ern­ment does in a neg­a­tive light.

For my part, I will con­tinue to back Bri­tain’s na­tional de­fences and the Scot­tish jobs they sup­port. I do this, be­cause I be­lieve - just like polling shows the ma­jor­ity of Scots be­lieve -- that it’s only by re­tain­ing our in­de­pen­dent nu­clear de­ter­rent that we en­sure the costs of an at­tack on the UK will al­ways be greater than any­thing an ad­ver­sary might wish to gain.

It’s a sim­ple cal­cu­la­tion but a pow­er­ful one all the same.

Scot­tish Labour might not know where it stands, but for me our nu­clear de­ter­rent re­mains a cru­cial com­po­nent of our na­tional se­cu­rity.

Ruth David­son MSP

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