UK

SNP’s opposition to Trident puts national security at risk, Tories claim

Scottish party deputy leader Meghan Gallacher is visiting Helensburgh on Saturday, near the Faslane naval base.

Faslane is home to the UK’s submarine fleet
Faslane is home to the UK’s submarine fleet (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the SNP’s opposition to Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Deputy leader Meghan Gallacher is visiting Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute on Saturday, near the Faslane naval base which is home to the UK’s submarine fleet.

She highlighted a report from the GMB union which said thousands of jobs depended on the Faslane base – 6,500 military and civilian staff at the base and 4,000 in the supply chain and local economy.

Ms Gallacher said the stance of the SNP, along with other politicians who oppose Trident, puts the UK’s national security at risk.

Meghan Gallacher said global security is ‘fragile’
Meghan Gallacher said global security is ‘fragile’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Ms Gallacher said: “The Scottish Conservatives are the only party truly committed to retaining our nuclear deterrent – along with the 11,000 jobs it supports in and around Faslane.

“Global security is as fragile today as it has been in decades, given Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine and the deepening conflict in the Middle East.

“Now, more than ever, we require the security of a nuclear deterrent and yet the SNP recklessly oppose Trident while many in Scottish Labour and in Keir Starmer’s frontbench team – including his deputy, Angela Rayner – share their hostility.

“They would happily put our national security at risk and threaten livelihoods in Helensburgh and beyond.”

She added: “Constituents in Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber know that only our superb local candidate, Amanda Hampsey, will stand up for those whose jobs depend on Faslane.”

SNP defence spokesperson Martin Docherty-Hughes said: “The Tories and Labour both prioritise wasting billions of taxpayers’ money on nuclear weapons but claim there is no money to improve our NHS, to help families with the cost of living or to properly invest in our green energy future.

“This money would be much better spent on a raft of other priorities including providing more money for conventional defence and for our armed forces, who are underpaid and under-resourced.

“With both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer focused on the wrong priorities, it is only the SNP standing up for Scotland’s values and putting Scotland’s interests first.”