Parliament has had an ill-informed, head-in-the-sand debate, short on facts and ignoring Trident’s irrelevance to the security challenges that we face today.
Committing £205 billion to a system that will be rendered obsolete by technological challenges inspires no confidence whatsoever in this government’s ability to spend public money to good purpose.
Too much of this has been driven by party political point scoring, both within and between parties. Playing politics with Britain’s national security is to be deplored. And imposing these weapons on Scotland – which clearly rejects Trident replacement – renders the decision devoid of any legitimacy.
Yesterday’s decision demonstrated a failure of vision on the part of our government. This was a once in a generation opportunity to break with this antiquated weapons system and address our defence needs in ways appropriate to the twenty first century.
Instead they voted for a cold war system on the basis that it underpins our standing in the world. They have failed to notice that the overwhelming majority of states in the world – those without nuclear weapons – continue to insist that we comply with our international treaty obligation to disarm. Far from enhancing our status, our continued failure to disarm does us enormous harm in the eyes of the global majority.
All the facts stack up against Trident – and they continue to do so, irrespective of this shameful and ill-informed vote. We will continue to campaign against replacement, working with those broad forces across society who wish to see an end to Britain’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.