Today, the House of Commons will be aked to vote on a motion on the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
I will be supporting the Government motion, below:
“That this House supports the Government’s assessment in the 2015 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review that the UK’s independent minimum credible nuclear deterrent, based on a Continuous at Sea Deterrence posture, will remain essential to the UK’s security today as it has for over 60 years, and for as long as the global security situation demands, to deter the most extreme threats to the UK’s national security and way of life and that of the UK’s allies; supports the decision to take the necessary steps required to maintain the current posture by replacing the current Vanguard Class submarines with four Successor submarines; recognises the importance of this programme to the UK’s defence industrial base and in supporting thousands of highly skilled engineering jobs; notes that the Government will continue to provide annual reports to Parliament on the programme; recognises that the UK remains committed to reducing its overall nuclear weapon stockpile by the mid-2020s; and supports the Government’s commitment to continue work towards a safer and more stable world, pressing for key steps towards multilateral disarmament.”
I believe it is absolutely vital that we maintain a continuous independent nuclear deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our national security. The Government has consistently set out the case for maintaining our nuclear deterrent: although no state currently has both the intent and the capability to threaten the independence and integrity of the UK, we cannot know how the international environment will change in the future. I believe firmly that we cannot dismiss the possibility that a major direct nuclear threat to the UK might re-emerge.
Despite successes over recent decades in limiting the number of states with nuclear capabilities, we cannot rule out a major shift in the international security situation which would put us under grave threat. That is why I do not believe it would be right to give up this capability unilaterally.
The Government’s policy is to retain the Trident continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile Submarines – securing thousands of highly-skilled engineering jobs in the UK.
I welcome the commitment to support the renewal of Trident with a fleet of four submarines. It would be wrong to leave Britain open to nuclear blackmail. The nuclear deterrent protects all of Britain, and scrapping it would dangerously weaken our collective defence. I fully support this position, because this is the only sensible policy for ensuring our country has future of security.
On the issue of moving Trident from Faslane in the West of Scotland, the Government has no plans to move the strategic nuclear deterrent from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, and has not considered options for moving the deterrent. Any alternative solution would come at huge cost to the taxpayer.