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Trident will not go 'quick and easy', warns Hammond

The UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident, will not be got rid of "quick and easy" if Scotland votes for independence, the Defence Secretary is expected to say.

He (Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond) also wants to dictate the timescales for removing our nuclear deterrent within the first term of Parliament following independence.

But Alex Salmond knows, as I know, that the future of our naval base at Faslane would be just one of many defence issues that would be the subject of long and protracted negotiations if there were to be a Yes vote in the referendum.

Because if they insist that it has to go, there would have to be complex talks about the costs and timescales involved. Any notion that it would be quick and easy is just plain wrong.

– Philip Hammond

Read: Hammond warns of 'long negotiations' over UK defence

Hammond warns of 'long negotiations' over UK defence

There will be "long and protracted negotiations" over the future of Britain's defences and armed forces if Scotland votes to become independent this September, according to Philip Hammond.

Read: Alex Salmond: Let Scotland decide its own future

Philip Hammond
Philip Hammond dubbed the union "precious". Credit: PA

Read: Davey: Scottish independence would 'hinder energy sector'

The Defence Secretary will outline his argument for Scotland remaining in the union in a speech at electronics company Thales Optronics in Glasgow, touching on issues like Trident nuclear weapons.

He will say that defence "provides the security and the peace of mind that underpins almost every single other area of this debate".

He will add: "What we have is precious... It is our shared history, our common values and our unity of purpose which makes us what we are today. It is Scotland which makes the UK united, and adds the Great to Great Britain.

"Drawn from the four corners of these islands, nothing epitomises more the strength we derive from being a United Kingdom than the men and women in our Navy, Army and Air Force, coming together with a common purpose, to keep our country and our people safe and secure."

Read: Unionists 'could lose independence poll'


Nigel Farage 'faces £60,000 expenses probe'

Nigel Farage at the UKIP Spring Conference.
Nigel Farage at the UKIP Spring Conference. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Nigel Farage is reportedly facing an investigation into tens of thousands of pounds worth of 'missing' European Union expenses allegedly paid into his personal bank account.

According to the Times, Mr Farage has received around £15,500 per year since 2009 to pay for upkeep of his constituency office in Bognor Regis.

But the newspaper claims that the office - a converted grain store near Bognor Regis - was given for free to the party leader by Ukip supporters 15 years ago.

Once utilities and other non-rental costs are factored in, the Times estimates that around £12,000 a year is left unexplained.

A Ukip spokesman responded: “Nigel Farage is confident that he has abided by European parliamentary rules at all times when spending allowances.”

Tory MP denies 'pressuring' Evans complainants

MP Sarah Wollaston outside Preston Crown Court during Nigel Evans' trial.
MP Sarah Wollaston outside Preston Crown Court during Nigel Evans' trial. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A Conservative MP has denied she pushed two men to go the police with allegations against former deputy speaker Nigel Evans, and says Westminster is "turning a blind eye" to harassment claims.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Dr Sarah Wollaston said she made the offer to step down to the two complainants if they felt she had "pressured them to take the complaint forward".

The Totnes MP raised allegations linked to Mr Evans with Speaker John Bercow before complaints were lodged with the police.

She says she has faced "rank hostility" since the Ribble Valley MP was acquitted of a string of sexual offence charges last week.

Mr Evans, who currently sits as an independent, noted in an interview with the Daily Mail of Dr Wollaston: "It was mentioned to her as a throwaway remark yet she pursued it. For whatever reason, she decided to have it in for me."

Nigel Evans: Trial made me realise impact of legal aid cuts


Vince Cable to appear on The Agenda tonight

Business Secretary Vince Cable will appear on The Agenda tonight. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will join ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the children's author Michael Morpurgo, the novelist and columnist Allison Pearson and the actress and writer Emma Kennedy.

They will be discussing bad behaviour in schools, the housing crisis and ageism.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and following @agendaitv.

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