UK’s ever more expensive nuclear submarines will torpedo spending plans for years to come

Whoever wins the next election, a reckoning is overdue on the costs of Britain’s nuclear deterrent

When Rishi Sunak visited Barrow-in-Furness on Monday he said the Cumbrian town was “mission critical for our country” because of its role building four new nuclear submarines to carry the UK’s nuclear weapons. If you believe Sunak’s erstwhile ally, Dominic Cummings, then that mission faces serious problems.

Cummings, once Boris Johnson’s most powerful adviser, said this month – in characteristically aggressive terms – that spiralling costs were making a mockery of the government’s budget plans. He wrote on X: “the nuclear enterprise is so fkd [sic] it’s further cannibalising the broken budgets and will for decades because it’s been highly classified to avoid MPs thinking about it.”

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