Theresa May calls it ‘sheer madness’ not to renew Trident nuclear deterrent

Tory frontrunner calls for urgent vote on nuclear submarines

 

Theresa May has backed renewing Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent, calling for a vote in parliament ‘before the summer recess’ so we can ‘get on with getting it built’.

Writing in the Daily Mail today, the Home Secretary and frontrunner for Tory leader, and thus Prime Minister, made a strong pitch on defence issues.

She writes:

‘It is vital for our national interest that we maintain what is the most significant security and military capability in Europe – backed up by our commitment to spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence – and that we are able to project our power around the world.

In particular, it is crucial that we maintain our independent nuclear deterrent.’

May argued that while terror groups like ISIS pose one kind of threat, there are still dangers from beligerent nuclear states, naming Russia and North Korea. (Iran was not mentioned, suggesting May has confidence in the US-Iran deal.)

She adds:

‘In the face of such strong evidence, it would be sheer madness to contemplate even for a moment giving up Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent.’

May concludes that while many issues are on hold until there is a new Prime Minister,

‘when it comes to the nuclear deterrent, the national interest is clear, the Conservatives are united, and we have waited long enough.

The House of Commons should, before the summer recess, vote on Britain’s next-generation nuclear deterrent – and we should get on with getting it built.’

Trident renewal has been a source of conflict on the Left in recent months, with opinion divided.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn opposes spending further billions on a nuclear deterrent, while several trade unions support renewal because of the jobs Trident provides to union members.

Last year’s Labour Conference saw the party vote against even debating a motion on Trident.

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Michael Gove ‘incapable’ of being Tory leader or Prime Minister – said Michael Gove

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.