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'Skewed' defence priorities criticised

THE UK Government is today accused of "skewing its priorities" after parliamentary answers showed the value of Britain's main nuclear bomb-making factory in Berkshire is worth £2.8 billion, more than the entire value of all its overseas properties, including embassies and diplomatic missions.

Philip Dunne, the Defence Minister, said in a parliamentary written answer to Angus Robertson, the SNP's defence spokesman, that as of March 31 2013, the "net book value of the nuclear warhead stockpile was £273.7m, the D5 missile pool was £419.3m and the Atomic Weapons Establishment was £2785.9m".

He added: "The net book values bear no relation to the replacement costs of the assets and capabilities."

Mr Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, said: "It is astonishing and says so much about the priorities of the UK, that it puts more value on developing and making these immoral ­weapons of mass destruction aimed at obliterating cities in Russia than developing and sustaining a network of positive diplomatic missions."

The Moray MP described Trident as an "obscene waste of money" with its renewal costing up to £100bn.

He pointed out the parliamentary answers also revealed that the cost of the missiles warheads had already risen by more than 600% in the past five years .

"What we do know is that Westminster wants to dump them on the Clyde."

He added: "We now know that the establishment at Aldermaston is worth more than all the UK's overseas properties put together and that is shameful."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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