I have recently been contacted by a number of constituents asking me why I voted against the renewal of the Trident Nuclear Deterrent. I wanted to write this to set out my position.
My vote against Trident was based on moral grounds. Each warhead is 8 times more powerful than the Hiroshima Nuclear attack which killed fifty thousand (50000) people. The UK currently has 225 nuclear warheads in our active stockpile and even after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) has been put into place, we will still have 120 active warheads. These weapons are indiscriminate and target innocent non-combatants. A world based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations. Rather than building a world of nations united by fear and distrust, we should be working together to solve the common global issues we face.
Moreover, it doesn’t seem logical for us to renew Trident. Reviews such as the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War have shown our troops to be woefully under equipped and resourced and the 2015 SDSR confirmed that the “UK will not use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”. There have been statements from leading scientists and service personnel, including the former Chief of Defence Staff, Field Marshall Lord Bramall, showing that replacing Trident would be a waste of money in the current strategic climate and that the UK’s role in disarmament could be very significant- more significant than holding on to them would make us.