Leading today’s SNP debate in Westminster on Trident renewal, Brendan O’Hara MP speaks about the party’s clear opposition to the immoral, obscene and redundant nuclear weapons system.
In May, the SNP Manifesto for the Westminster election clearly stated that MPs would oppose plans for a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons. My colleagues and I take every opportunity to raise the renewal of Trident and the obscene waste of money that this would mean, and today we were able to call a debate on the issue.
Today was a chance for Labour MPs to show their opposition to Trident in what could be the last chance before a crucial vote to be called by the Conservative Government.
Recently the Scottish Parliament reaffirmed its outright and overwhelming opposition to Trident renewal. The position is supported by the STUC, the Scottish Churches and great swathes of civic society – we have an established consensus in Scotland against nuclear weapons.
However we have a government at Westminster with just one MP elected in Scotland, who insist they have the right to foist weapons of mass destruction on a nation that has said they do not want them.
Based on current estimates, the cost of renewing Trident will be in the region of £167 billion. In fact, during the debate it emerged that this cost has increased once again. The SNP believe that this money should be invested in better childcare, education and the NHS. In bairns, not bombs.
As the MP for Argyll & Bute, I represent both Faslane and Coulport. Indeed, I live roughly six miles from the base. While the SNP are being very clear in saying no to Trident, we are not saying no to Faslane – far from it. Faslane will have a non-nuclear future as a conventional naval base.
There is no moral, economic or military case for Trident, however today saw moral bankruptcy from Labour. The vast majority of their MPs abstained, including their own Scottish MP Ian Murray. This is in direct contradiction to Scottish Labour party policy. Only 6 voted with the SNP with 14 voting with the Tories to support Trident.
The SNP position remains clear – we are opposed to the renewal of this obscene, redundant and eye-wateringly expensive nuclear arsenal, and we will continue to make the case for it to be scrapped.
Photo by Defence Images