The Government should recognise that a “clear majority” of the Scottish electorate voted against Trident renewal at last month’s poll, the SNP’s Westminster defence spokesman has argued.
Brendan O’Hara raised the issue in the first defence questions of the new Parliament in the House of Commons.
The Argyll and Bute MP asked: “In the forthcoming SDSR (Strategic Defence and Security Review) what cognisance will you give to the fact in the last month’s general election, a clear majority of the Scottish electorate voted for parties that put opposition to Trident at the forefront of their manifesto?
“Fifty-seven of 59 members returned from Scotland do not want to see Trident renewal go ahead.”
Mr Fallon said the Government remained committed to replacing all four of the Vanguard submarines that carry the missiles.
He told MPs: “Successive governments have supported renewal of our nuclear deterrent that has helped to keep this country safe.
“We are committed to replacing all four Vanguard submarines with new submarines that will serve this country until at least 2060.
“The deterrent is a major employer I think in your own constituency. Thousands of jobs are at stake here in Faslane. I hope you will consider too the consequences of your policy for your own constituents.”
Mr O’Hara then suggested the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review had been “little more than a cost-cutting exercise” and called for the process of renewing and purchasing UK maritime patrol aircraft to be undertaken immediately.
He also said they should be based in Scotland as “historically and logically” they had been.
Mr Fallon replied: “The 2010 review necessarily involved some tough decisions because we had to balance the budget from the mess that we inherited.
“Let me assure you, we will be looking again at all these different capabilities and the importance of Scotland.”