When I sit in the House of Commons, I talk to many Members who support Trident. I can tell them that those weapons can kill 100 million people, but they know that. I can tell them that watersheds will be poisoned, crops will fail and many people will die from famine, pestilence and plague, but they know that. I can tell them that weapons of mass destruction have not stopped wars across the globe, but they know that. I can tell them that WMD are no protection from terrorism or cybercrime, but they know that. I can tell them that the £179 billion could be spent on health, education, housing, transport and social welfare, but they know that. The difference between us is that they believe that WMD are a deterrent and that their existence has kept us safe. Let us look at those claims.
In the lead-up to today’s debate, the Henry Jackson Society was kind enough to send me a copy of its report, “Foreign Nuclear Developments: A Gathering Storm”. A better title would be “Be afraid: be very afraid”. The report makes it clear that it would be foolhardy of the UK to give up its nuclear weapons because North Korea, Russia, China and Iran either have nuclear weapons or are actively pursuing them.