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

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5 Responses to “Theresa May calls it ‘sheer madness’ not to renew Trident nuclear deterrent”

  1. Tony

    This is a very clear reminder of how politicians will cynically use the question of nuclear weapons to further their own personal ambitions. In doing so, they put all our lives in danger and the lives of future generations.

    Trident replacement has absolutely nothing at all to do with defence. May knows this perfectly well but pretends otherwise.

    It is worth bearing in mind that two thirds of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet opposed the original decision to purchase Trident. We did not need this nonsense back then and we do not need it now.

  2. CR

    Trident is a valuable part of NATO’s defence system. Our contribution to the defence of the West. It should go ahead.

  3. Geo Meadows

    So the post Brexit economy is going into freefall and we blow $20bn a year on a leftover from the cold war.
    And so Trident becomes something else that sets us apart from Europe – apart from France none of the other 27 members seem to think they need a nuclear deterrent.

  4. s rossiter

    Trident is valueless as a military weapon, unless revenge attacks are seen as legitimate British military operations, which is a slur on all British soldiers, who feel they are in an honourable trade. The CEP of the missiles is inadequate for battlefield ops. The targets are cities, ie the place you won’t find enemy soldiers, unless we are the aggressor. I note that Trident apologists never say HOW trident is useful or in what situation trident would give the slightest benefit to our ‘defence’.

  5. Rachel Francis

    How will Trident counter terrorism ? What does it have to do with our most pressing problems, like climate change? How is the spend justified? What is the vision for Trident? Is there a business plan? How else could we spend the money? How else would we create jobs? Is madness just a sound bite? Who is really mad?

Comments are closed.