MPs slam UK military as naval report shows Scotland "poorly defended"

UK military criticised for risking the security and the ship building supply of the Royal Navy fleet

THE UK Government has placed the security of Scotland under threat through “poor procurement procedures” according to the SNP grouping of MPs in Westminster.

The party has responded to a new 48-page report released by the UK military which shows that the Royal Navy has a “woefully low” number of warships needed to carry out operations in areas as far ranging as the Middle East and Baltic.

The report called ‘Restoring the Fleet’ let to further condemnation of procurement decisions from the Commons defence select committee which said it had “serious concerns” about the navy’s programme of modernisation, shipbuilding supply and security.

"A litany of broken promises to the men and women who work in the Clyde yards hasn't only impacted on these vital jobs and skills, it has left Scotland and the UK poorly defended and the Royal Navy in crisis.” Douglas Chapman

Commenting on the release of the report, Douglas Chapman SNP MP and a member of the defence select committee said: "When I raised these concerns along with my SNP colleagues at defence questions in Parliament, we were treated with the usual Tory contempt.

“This scathing defence select committee report highlights how their pathetic attempt to cast asking difficult, and valid, questions as grievance-mongering has backfired badly on the government.”

The Navy’s 13 Type 23 frigates are due to be retired at the rate of one a year from 2023, but the MoD has yet to secure a deal to replace them with the new Type 26 and Type 31 frigates.

This caused an outcry last month from unions in Scotland after they stated that promises given by UK Government minister that shipbuilding would be guaranteed at the Clyde were broken.

UK Government falls short on promises to Clyde ship building, unions claim

Chapman added: "A litany of broken promises to the men and women who work in the Clyde yards hasn't only impacted on these vital jobs and skills, it has left Scotland and the UK poorly defended and the Royal Navy in crisis. The SNP will do everything we can do make the government listen to this report, come good on their infrastructure investment promises, and start taking the defence of Scotland seriously"

The Royal Navy has a total of 13 frigates and six destroyers, a reduction from its combined fleet of 33 back in 2000.

MPs on the committee also described the UK military as being littered with "extraordinary mistakes" when commissioning the design of Type 45 destroyers after it came to light that the ship had faulty engines and will require costly refitting. 

For the past two years, the UK has seen a rise the regularity of “serious naval and airborne incursions” by Russian jets and ships in and around the Scottish coast and airspace leading to heightened tensions between NATO and Russia. 

Picture courtesy of Defence Images

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