STURGEON MAKES PLEDGE IN BBC MARR INTERVIEW
Speaking on the BBC Marr programme this morning (Sunday), Scottish National Party leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged that an SNP group of MPs holding the balance of power in the House of Commons after May’s General Election would make halting the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system an “absolute priority” – and said that health and education would be our first call on the billions of pounds of resources freed up.
In its report in July 2014, the Trident Commission at Westminster estimated the cost of Trident renewal as some £2.9 billion a year, reaching £4 billion a year in the 2020s.
Commenting afterwards, Ms Sturgeon said:
“The Trident nuclear missile system is unusable and indefensible – and the plans to renew it are ludicrous on both defence and financial grounds.
“If we deliver a strong team of SNP MPs at the General Election, an absolute priority will be getting Trident renewal halted. And the more MPs we get elected, the greater the chances of holding the balance of power and achieving the end of Trident, which will free up enormous resources.
“The cost of Trident renewal is some £3 billion a year, rising to £4 billion in the 2020s. The NHS and education, including childcare, are our first calls for where this money could be far more productively spent – and the SNP will set out exactly what could be achieved for health care and children in Scotland with our share of the Trident money.
“This election is about big choices, and people in Scotland can achieve big changes by voting SNP. As a weapons system designed for the Cold War, the case for Trident is non-existent in 2015, and it will be utterly unlamented if we are successful in getting rid of it.
“No sensible UK Government would develop a nuclear weapons capability now if one didn’t exist. Therefore, a strong group of SNP MPs in a hung parliament, working with other progressive political forces, can bring sanity to bear now – and halt Trident renewal in its tracks.”