While British MPs discuss whether or not to continue with the Trident nuclear weapons system, Royal Navy engineer-turned-whistleblower William McNeilly has opened up about the various security loopholes in the system, pointing out that they make it very easy for anyone to access nuclear weapons.
"You don't even need to be part of the Navy — any logical thinking person, anyone with half a functioning brain cell can understand the risks," he told RT. "At the airport you have your bags checked. They don't check your bags (at Clyde Naval Base). Any bags, any boxes you're bringing on board, they don't check. Their attitude is it will take too long."
McNeilly explained that with the looming threat of the Islamic State (Isis), the programme's safety measures or lack thereof could allow terrorists to access the Clyde Naval Base on Scotland's west coast.
"All you need to get on board is a couple of fake IDs. Terrorist groups like Isis have already shown they can produce legitimate documents. Thousands of Royal Navy IDs go missing every year as well, so they could come across one. Increasing numbers within the UK have radicalized people, which increase the risk of one of them coming across an ID.
"Going on that patrol, I think there were 180 people on board. They're all bringing on big bags unchecked. All it would take would be for one of them to have a bomb," he added.
McNeilly had narrowly escaped jail and was dishonourably discharged by the Royal Navy after releasing an 18-page report in May 2015, based on his three-month tour on board one of the Vanguard missiles. His public report contained a series of allegations about the Trident submarines and exposed their safety and security flaws.
In his record of observations, which was published online and covered by global media, McNeilly spoke of fire risks, leaks, lack of security checks, instances of missile safety alarms being muted because they went off too often and general hygiene issues.
"I didn't release my report to discredit the Royal Navy. I released my report because safety and security is not being taken seriously. Because it's a risk to the people and a risk to the land," McNeilly said of his actions.
The Ministry of Defence has, however, refuted his claims and stated that security on site is being taking very seriously. A spokesperson said: "Rigorous security measures are in place at HM Naval Base Clyde and it is nonsense to suggest otherwise."
On 27 February, the Stop Trident national demonstration is being held in London to urge the government to close down the Trident system.A decision on whether to renew the UK's Trident nuclear weapons programme is due.