Until three weeks ago, I anticipated that I would speak in this debate as Labour’s shadow armed forces Minister, but today I do so from the Back Benches. Either way, however, I am grateful to my hon. Friend John Woodcock for the work he did to ensure Labour’s approach to this debate was evidence based. In his capacity as chair of the PLP defence committee, he conducted an exhaustive series of seminars on the Vanguard renewal, with a wide body of contributors. We heard from the general secretary of CND, the Minister for Defence Procurement, two former Labour Secretaries of State for Defence, trade unions, firms responsible for the thousands of jobs that today hang in the balance, and academics and historians who placed the decision we face today in an appropriate global strategic and historical context.
I, too, have a historical context here. Back in the 1980s, my mother was a Greenham Common protester.