I have regular discussions with the Ministry of Defence on matters relating to defence in Scotland. This includes the crucial role of the armed forces presence at our strategic bases in Scotland. RAF Lossiemouth and His Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde are vital to maintaining the security of the United Kingdom and our NATO allies. The defence industry is also vital to Scotland’s economy, and I am delighted to see that the new Type 26 frigates, costing £4.2 billion, will be built by BAE Systems on the Clyde in Govan. This will secure thousands of Scottish jobs for years to come.
The British armed forces are the pride of our nation and represent every corner of our beloved United Kingdom. I am proud that our nuclear deterrent is based at Faslane, with our brave submariners working to keep Britain safe. It is highly regrettable, however, that some would strip us of our nuclear deterrent in Scotland. In an ever more dangerous world, and facing threats from Russia and China, what assurances can my right hon. Friend give me that our base on the Clyde and all other military bases in Scotland are not going anywhere?
I completely agree with my hon. Friend: our nuclear deterrent plays a key role in protecting every United Kingdom citizen from the most extreme threats and to abandon it would put us all at greater risk.
Before we come to questions to the Deputy Prime Minister, I would like to point out that the British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on parliamentlive.tv.