- Defence Minister Baroness Goldie hosts North Atlantic Council and Military Committee in Faslane.
- UK commitment to NATO security remains strong.
- Scotland remains at the heart of UK strategic defence capability.
The UK underlined its commitment to NATO Nuclear Deterrence as Defence Minister Baroness Goldie hosted members of the North Atlantic Council and NATO Military Committee at His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, today.
Visiting the home of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, Baroness Goldie reiterated the commitment to the nuclear enterprise, secured through the most recent funding uplift of £3 billion, announced in the Spring Budget.
With the nuclear enterprise sustaining tens of thousands of jobs right across the country, including around 7,000 at HMNB Clyde, continued investment in the future of the UK’s nuclear industry also directly contributes to developing nuclear skills and growing the economy – one of the Prime Minister’s key priorities.
Beyond the UK’s nuclear deterrent, Scotland is also home to some of the UK’s most crucial defence capabilities, including our Quick Reaction Alert based at RAF Lossiemouth, and a thriving defence industry with both Type 26 and Type 31 frigates currently in build in Scottish shipyards.
Since 1962, the UK has declared its nuclear deterrent to the defence of NATO, meaning that all NATO Allies benefit from the protection of the UK’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD) under collective defence.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said:
We have declared our nuclear deterrent to the defence of NATO for over 60 years, and our commitment to the security of the NATO Alliance is absolute.
The UK’s round the clock nuclear deterrent is more crucial than ever, as the ultimate guarantee of our collective security.
NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept reaffirmed that the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent contributes significantly to the overall security of NATO. Operating every minute of every day, the nuclear deterrent protects the UK and our Allies from the most extreme threats.
Defence Minister, Baroness Goldie, said:
Our continued investment in the nuclear deterrent is vital to our security and that of our NATO Allies, keeping people safe from the most extreme threats every minute of every day.
The home of some of the UK’s most critical defence assets, Scotland continues to be one of the cornerstones of the UK’s defence, keeping us all safe, driving prosperity and bolstering the Scottish economy.
Currently provided by the UK’s Vanguard Class submarines, while the new Dreadnought Class are in build, the deterrent will continue to operate for as long as the international situation requires it.
Confirming the UK’s commitment to sustaining the Continuous at Sea Deterrent, two new contracts were recently awarded to BAE Systems for the design and materials as part of the third Dreadnought delivery phase.
With £2 billion announced for the programme last year, these contracts, worth £1.7 billion collectively, mark the UK’s continued momentum and commitment to the future of our nuclear deterrent.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Polaris Sales Agreement – a bilateral international agreement between the UK and US – which established the basic policy and terms underlying the sale of Polaris missiles (later updated for Trident) to the United Kingdom.
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, said:
For 54 years the Royal Navy has operated submarines carrying the United Kingdom’s independent nuclear deterrent on behalf of the nation and, by extension, our NATO allies.
CASD is supported by many elements of UK defence, but I am delighted that today our NATO partners are in HMNB Clyde meeting some of the fantastic women and men, both civilian and serving, who play a vital role in the enterprise.
The UK will also support its NATO Allies with its new Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) vessel, currently undergoing a short refit period in Cammell Laird before joining the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) fleet later this year.
The vessel will be formally known as RFA Proteus, the first of two MROS vessels dedicated to subsea surveillance and the protection of our critical infrastructure.