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Trident Renewal

Part of Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:08 pm on 20th January 2015.

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Photo of John Woodcock John Woodcock Labour, Barrow and Furness 3:08 pm, 20th January 2015

I will not. I have given way once, and I want others to speak.

With money so tight, my right hon. Friend Edward Miliband understandably ordered his defence team to re-examine the case for renewal and the most cost-effective way of maintaining the minimum credible deterrent, to which we have always been committed, and it concluded that the submarine- based, strategic, continuously at-sea system remained overwhelmingly the most appropriate system for the UK, and that the most cost-effective way to deliver it was to continue with the successor submarine-building programme, which we began in government and will be voted on in the next Parliament.

It is for the nationalists to explain why they are seeking to prioritise unilateral disarmament by making it, as far as I understand it, their one red line in any future coalition talks—they would prioritise it over all the pressing issues of health, jobs, education and the economy that matter to the people of Scotland and Wales. It is also for them to say how their stance fits with their desire to remain a member of NATO. But Labour’s view is settled. The Leader of the Opposition will never accept an irresponsible deal that trades the nuclear security of future generations in a deeply uncertain world for nationalist support to enter Downing street. We will carry on campaigning for a Labour majority. Plaid Cymru and the SNP can dream on.