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UK News SNP and Labour hit out after US military reveals new Trident plan before Parliament is told

07:00  24 february  2020
07:00  24 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Britain has committed itself to buying a new generation of nuclear warheads to replace Trident , which will be based on US technology. But last week Admiral Charles Richard, commander of the US strategic command, told the Senate defence committee that there was a requirement for a new

Fellow SNP member Douglas Chapman cautioned the US and UK against “spending too much time” on the Another comment argued that , in the eyes of the US military , the UK is little more than a “static aircraft carrier” Others jokingly suggested that the secretive program was nothing out of the ordinary.

Boris Johnson standing on a boat in the water: Boris Johnson visits Faslane last July but he failed to tell Scots about the new generation of nuclear missiles he is buying to base on the Clyde © PA Boris Johnson visits Faslane last July but he failed to tell Scots about the new generation of nuclear missiles he is buying to base on the Clyde

Labour and the SNP have united to condemn the Tories after US defence chiefs leaked details of British plans to buy a replacement for Trident before the UK Parliament was told.

The secret plan to buy a multi-billion-pound replacement for the Trident nuclear warheads at Faslane was revealed by an American military official before any official announcement by the UK Government.

A US commander told a Washington committee of the plans last week but it appears Prime Minister Boris Johnson was unable to find the time to inform Parliament, which has been in a week’s recess until today.

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The government is planning to replace the UK’s controversial Trident missiles with nuclear warheads supplied by the US , Pentagon officials have revealed . The Ministry of Defence confirmed over the weekend that officials were looking at options to replace the current Trident warheads.

A navy source told the newspaper that “something went wrong” after the Trident was fired from the submerged submarine. Details of the failure were not Notably, more than 100 MPs voted against the proposal, including members of Scottish National Party ( SNP ) and the Labour Party, who argued

Opposition MPs have expressed outrage after Ministry of Defence confirmed officials were working towards replacing the warheads stored on the Clyde coast at the Holy Loch base.

a ship in a body of water with a mountain in the background: The Royal Navy's 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard approaches Faslane © PA Wire/Press Association Images The Royal Navy's 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard approaches Faslane

Stewart McDonald MP, the SNP defence spokesman, said: “This is a quite astonishing story. Not only are we learning about a new UK nuclear missiles programme from the US Senate but the programme itself clearly sets the UK on course to breach the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.”

“The treaty makes it clear that nuclear armed states are required to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." This programme clearly rips up that commitment and that is of utmost concern.”

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Leading figures in the SNP and Labour parties set out to use the incident, which occurred just weeks before a House of Commons vote on renewal, to MPs should have been told about the safety and reliability issues with the Trident system before they committed to spending £205 billion on a new

The party 's difficulties around Trident crystallising the divisions and doubts inside the party . Labour 's John Woodcock voted in favour of the submarines which are built in his constituency, Barrow in Cumbria, and said: "This shows that the House of Commons but also the Labour party can take

US Strategic Command commander Admiral Charles Richard wrote in a statement that a replacement warhead called W93 or Mk7 was needed in the States.

He added: “This effort will also support a parallel replacement warhead programme in the United Kingdom, whose nuclear

deterrent plays a vital role in Nato’s overall defence posture.”

McDonald called on Tory Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to appear in the Commons when MPs return today to explain the situtation.

He said: “Why are we learning that the UK Government is gearing up to renege on its own international commitments, to the tune of billions of pounds, from the US Senate and not the UK parliament?"

Jackie Baillie, Labour MSP for Dumbarton whose constituency covers the Faslane base, said: “It is unacceptable for this to be announced before there has been any scrutiny by MPs and before the workers at Faslane and the trade unions have been told.

Baillie, who is standing as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party, added: “Trident renewal is supported by the Labour Party but there has to be full parliamentary oversight here in the UK. This makes Boris Johnson’s close relationship with Donald Trump even more concerning.”

An MoD spokeswoman said: “As previously stated in the 2015 defence review, we can confirm we are working towards replacing the warhead.

“An announcement about the UK’s replacement warhead programme will be made in due course.”

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