MPs unite to welcome the renewal of Trident subs' nuclear deterrent

THE area's MPs '“ and former naval top brass '“ have backed the UK renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent as Parliament gave it the go-ahead.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 12:04 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:47 pm
HMS Victorious, a Trident missile-armed Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarine leaving its base at HMNB Clyde Photo: LA(Phot) Will Haigh/MoD

Britain’s former top sailor, Admiral Lord Alan West said renewing the nation’s nuclear deterrent was vital in protecting Britain from future attack.

The ex-First Sea Lord told The News: ‘I’m in no doubt that in this very dangerous and chaotic world, where no-one can predict what will happen in the next 50 years, that it would be foolhardy to give up our nuclear weapons.

‘The thing to ensure Britain’s safety from nuclear blackmail is to replace our nuclear deterrent. It’s crucial to the UK’s future.’

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All the area’s Tory MPs backed the new prime minister’s call and voted to keep Trident.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who is the former armed forces minister, said renewing Trident was ‘the ultimate guarantee’ for the nation’s security.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said it was ‘important’ that after the UK’s vote to leave the EU a ‘clear signal’ was sent to show Britain was committed to playing its role in the world.

‘Unilateral disarmament by the UK would dramatically alter the global balance of power and undoubtedly put our national security at risk,’ she added.

The Royal Navy has four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident nuclear missiles capable of hitting targets 7,500 miles away.

At any one time, the UK has one of the submarines stationed in a secret location ready to strike at any time.

Critics have said renewing Trident could cost more than £31bn. But Havant MP Alan Mak believes it is worth it.

‘Together the four new boats will cost around £31bn, spread over 35 years,’ he said. ‘That’s around 20p in every £100 that the government spends – an insurance premium for the whole nation worth paying.’

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes added: ‘Our nuclear deterrent has helped keep the peace and protected us all for more than half a century, and it would be quite irresponsible to give it up now.’

Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP said Trident was an ‘emotive subject’ but said the nuclear replacement would only cost six per cent of the UK’s annual defence budget.

She said with a ‘resurgent Russia’ testing new nuclear weapons and ‘posturing on the world stage’ meant a continuous at-sea nuclear weapon was a vital and ‘very potent deterrent’.

‘The last 70 years has shown us nuclear weapons do help to make war less likely as even the most reckless enemy will always think twice about a nuclear attack on a country that can respond in kind.

‘This investment in the new capability will also help keep this country safe until the 2050s. With the best will in the world, no-one can know what threats will exist then, so it is surely better to be safe than sorry.’

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery said: ‘It would be simply irresponsible to leave subsequent generations defenceless against future potential threats, especially now the world is growing more and more dangerous.

‘We must also look at our place in the world and the crucial role we play through Nato in global security alongside the US. Now is not the time to send a message to those who might consider doing us harm that we are weakening our defences.

‘Trident is a deterrent, an insurance policy, that has done a good job up to now and I see no reason to change that.’