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Trident safety raised in Scottish Parliament

The case of the Trident Whistleblower, William McNeil, was raised in First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon called on the UK government to carry out a thorough investigation into the allegations and said that the only way to remove the risk of a nuclear incident was to withdraw Trident.

Shortly after she spoke a nuclear weapons' convoy drove on the Edinburgh by-pass on its return trip from Coulport to Burghfield. It had travelled to Scotland on Monday. On both trips it passed through Stirling.

  

 

 

 

Video of First Minister's Questions 21 May.  

Trident whistleblower question is from 24:40 

 

 Transcript 

Kenneth Gibson:

What discussions has the Scottish Government had with the UK government regarding the safety of Trident submarines?

Nicola Sturgeon:

The Scottish Government has made clear its opposition to Trident nuclear weapons and our concern about the risks they pose. However the MOD does not discuss the operation of its Vanguard class nuclear submarines with the Scottish Government. Recent allegations from a whistleblower, highlighting a catalogue of safety breaches and security lapses, are gravely concerning.

The UK government must fully investigate these allegations without delay and explain any failings that have been highlighted and set out, as far as they can, precisely what has been done to address each one.

People across Scotland an across the UK,not least those who live and work at or around the naval base on the Clyde, must have answers to he very serious allegations that have been made.

Kenneth Gibson:

While many people are concerned following the allegations in William McNeilly's 18-page report that came to light last Sunday, does she agree that while the Royal Navy has faced allegations from fire risks to a collision with another submarine, a full and comprehensive safety review is indeed merited and should take place with immediate effect. Ensuring public safety is yet another reason it would be folly to squander billions on renewing Trident.

Nicola Sturgeon:

Public safety must always be the top priority. As I've already said, we do need a top level inquiry to look at the allegations that have been made. Any past safety or security failings with the Trident nuclear weapon system are an extremely grave matter. The government have always opposed the existence of these weapons but we have also raised operation and safety concerns in the past as well. But the allegations that were raised over the last few days I think are all the more troubling because they were raised by a member of defence personnel and therefore they have to be treated with the seriousness that they deserve. Only the fullest possible assurances from the UK government about the safety of its arrangements is now acceptable. 

However, I think we should also be very clear that the only certain way to remove the risks of a nuclear incident involving Trident nuclear weapons is through the withdrawal of Trident nuclear weapons and the UK government should, in my view, cancel its inexplicable plan to spend £100 billion on renewing these Weapons of Mass Destruction and should begin now to plan for their removal.

 

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