MPs are set to vote for renewing the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system despite protests from anti-nuclear campaigners and opposition parties.
MPs are set to vote for the renewal of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system despite protests from campaigners and opposition parties.
Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament it would be “sheer madness” not to back the renewal of the four ageing submarines, which are based at Faslane on the River Clyde.
She said a global nuclear threat still existed, and abandoning the weapons system would be “a gamble with the safety of British families”.
Speaking in the commons on Monday, she will tell MPs: “It is impossible to say for certain that no extreme threats will emerge in the next 30 or 40 years to threaten our security and way of life.
“And it would be a gross irresponsibility to lose the ability to meet such threats by discarding the ultimate insurance against those risks in the future.”
Dangerous, undemocratic and self-serving
The vote is expected to pass with the backing of the Conservative government.
Labour MPs have been given a free vote on the issue, while the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Greens will oppose the motion.
Nicola Sturgeon’s party this weekend called for the vote to be delayed “to allow proper scrutiny” by MPs.
The UK government claims replacing the submarines will cost £31 billion over 20 years, with a £10bn contingency. However, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has said the true cost could be more than £205bn.
Monday's vote comes after demonstrations were held in more than 30 Scottish towns and cities to protest against the weapons.
A spokesman for campaign group Trident Ploughshares condemned the vote as “dangerous, undemocratic and self-serving”.
A spokesman said: “Merely days after the Chilcot Report found that MPs had been duped in to voting for an illegal act with catastrophic worldwide consequences, causing incalculable suffering to tens of thousands of people, MPs are planning to repeat the mistake by voting for a renewed nuclear weapons arsenal, to the detriment of all life, the planet, UK society and security, and what is more, in breach of UK and International law.”