Yesterday's headline in the FT shouted "MoD faces fresh crisis over funding". It turns out that the Ministry of Defence have checked over last October's defence review and found out that they actually need an extra £1 billion a year over the next four years to deliver it.
Something clearly has to give and, completely coincidentally, yesterday we mailed out our new briefing about the costs of Trident to MPs.
The briefing won't cheer up the accountants working at the MoD. It essentially challenges the idea that the Defence Review's so-called 'value for money' review of Trident will deliver the savings it claims.
Plus it highlights the rather large fact that, over the next four years – at exactly the time the military faces a shortfall – the MoD also plans to start ploughing money into ordering 'long lead items' for Trident replacement. That's contracts for little things like nuclear reactors, and submarine hulls. Contracts likely costing several billion pounds. Anyone else seeing a link here?
We are calling on MPs to demand transparency, to get answers about the real costs of replacing Trident, and to ensure that the MoD doesn't tie us into aircraft carrier style unbreakable contracts for Trident II.
As a start, we're asking them to call on Liam Fox to live up to his own words and release the Trident 'value for money' review in full.