The Liberal Democrats are facing criticism from the SNP for wanting to spend billions on a replacement to the Trident nuclear missile system. A Coalition government review of alternative nuclear weapons systems is being led by Nick Harvey, Lib Dem MP for North Devon and Minister for the Armed Forces.
It is understood that the Lib Dems seek a “cheaper” alternative to the weapons of mass destruction, and want a nuclear submarine equipped with cruise missiles which could reduce the multi-billion cost of the nuclear weapons.
Menzies Campbell said: “The cost of Trident is so substantial, that it will inevitably make an enormous impact on the defence budget, that is why it is necessary to consider other options, which might provide an appropriate level of security, but at a lower cost.”
Commenting on the report in that the LibDems plans to still spend billions on weapons of mass destruction as a replacement to Trident, SNP MSP Bill Kidd – a member of the Council of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament – said:
“Whether Tory, Labour or LibDem the UK government is preparing to waste billions on replacing Trident nuclear weapons that are neither wanted nor needed.
“The majority of Scottish voters oppose Trident. The majority of Scots MPs and MSPs have not voted for Trident renewal. Our Churches and STUC do not want Trident.
“In a time of such Westminster cuts committing billions to Trident is a decision that shows the UK government’s priorities are wrong.
“Why are our conventional defences being cut but a fortune being spent on a weapons system that can never be used?
“A normal country with the power to decide its own defence and security policy would never be pushed into this crazy situation. With independence Scotland can determine its own priorities.”