UK's Nuclear Deterrent

Part of Terrorist Attack: Nice – in the House of Commons at 8:18 pm on 18th July 2016.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Transport) 8:18 pm, 18th July 2016

I am against the renewal of Trident for all the reasons that have been so ably laid out by my hon. Friends here today. I am mainly against it because, morally, it is a corrupt concept. It is a weapon that is designed to kill people indiscriminately. The Prime Minister said earlier that she was willing to take the decision to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, but she should perhaps take some advice from the International Court of Justice, which says:

“States must never make civilians the object of attack and must consequently never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets.”

In my time as an MP, I have held many surgeries around my constituency. People come to me with their problems and I try to help them as best I can. Sometimes people come to my surgeries in tears because their disability benefits have been cut because the UK Government do not have the money to give them a decent life. People come to me saying that they have been unfairly sanctioned because the welfare budget has to be trimmed because there is no money. Women who were born in the 1950s come to my surgeries to tell me that they have to miss out on their pensions because there is no money. When Conservative and Labour Members tell us that it does not matter how much the Trident replacement costs, I tell them to come to my surgery, look those people in the face and tell them that.

If Conservative and Labour Members want to spend up to £205 billion on replacing Trident, they should think about the consequences for people. Incidentally, those consequences stretch right into my constituency, to the Army base that has been there for 250 years. Fort George is on a Ministry of Defence list of sites considered for closure because there is no money. That is the benefit of MOD spend, but it will be taken away from conventional, hard-working and valuable service personnel to pay for useless weapons of mass destruction.