– UK government “incompetent” and “draining our conventional defence budget dry” –
The MP for the Scotstoun shipyard has called the suspension of an MoD frigate programme a “betrayal” by the UK government.
The programme for the Royal Navy’s Type-31e frigate programme was suspended yesterday, following a series of cutbacks and broken promises as the MoD struggles with a £20billion funding gap following the publication of their shipbuilding strategy.
When the strategy was published last September, Monaghan said that the Type-31e contracts being put out to competition was “an insult”.
Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West and the SNP’s Westminster Spokesperson for Armed Forces and Veterans, has spoken previously of the crisis in recruitment and retention of service personnel and the UK government’s continuing obsession with squeezing the conventional defence budget to pay for Trident renewal.
Commenting on the news, Carol Monaghan MP said:
“This news is only the latest betrayal of the Clyde shipbuilders from an incompetent Tory UK government who have form on reneging on their promises.
“From delays and cutbacks to the Type-26 frigates to opening up contracts to tender across the UK and overseas, the suspension of the Type-31e programme highlights once again the chronic mismanagement at the heart of the Ministry of Defence whose unaffordable and unrealistic financial plans continue to unravel.
“Scotstoun and Govan are the only yards in the UK where a highly skilled workforce capable of building these ships exists, and that they were made to compete for the contracts in the first place was an insult in itself.
“The Tories’ thoughtless, stop-start defence procurement and the uncertainty it causes our world-class shipbuilders has gone on for too long, and is ultimately losing highly-skilled jobs and undermining our defence industry.
“We have no major surface vessels based in our waters, yet the Tories are content to drain our conventional defence budget dry – all while their £167billion obsession with Trident remains untouchable.
“The Tories need to get their act together, stick to the promises they’ve made the Clyde shipbuilders and invest in conventional defence capabilities.”