No, I will not give way.
That is why both Unite and the GMB support the renewal of our submarines. Scrapping Trident would place skilled manufacturing jobs in my region in jeopardy. There are 20 businesses across the north-east involved in the supply chain for Britain’s Navy defence submarines. Our region is at risk of losing millions of pounds of funding after Brexit. I know from personal bitter experience of the demise of coal and shipbuilding that job losses on such a scale will lead to communities being wiped out. The fact is that if a decision is taken not to replace Trident, jobs will disappear and we will never see them again.
I acknowledge there remains an absence of a truly definitive cost for renewal, but one thing we can all agree on is that it will be incredibly expensive, and that needs to be monitored. The reality is that either we have Trident or we do not, and if we have it, we have to pay for it. If nuclear missiles were cheap or easy to come by, the world would be in serious trouble. The deterrent represents the ultimate security guarantee for the UK, and I believe that, right now, the potential costs of retaining it are worth more than the risks of disarmament.