- Published on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
The contrast between views on Trident in Scotland and the rest of the UK are likely to be highlighted today. 95% of Scotland's MP are expected to vote against Trident renewal in a House of Commons debate. The motion says "That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed". Most Labour MPs are expected to abstain or not be present. A small number have indicated that they will vote with the Tories for Trident.
Shadow Chancellor John Macdonnell has urged his Labour colleagues to abstain on what he has told the press is an "SNP stunt". This is despite the fact that he and the new leader Jeremy Corbyn were amongst a handful of Labour MPs who voted for a similar SNP motion on 20 January this year.
Far from being a "stunt" the debate is a well-timed opportunity to tackle the issue of Trident the day after David Cameron announced that the initial manufacturing costs of Trident had risen from £25 billion to £41 billion and that the new submarines, which had been expected to enter service in 2028, would not now be operational until "the early 2030s". Earlier this year it was revealed that there were major problems in the MOD's management of the defence nuclear programme, following a review led by Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary at the MOD, and Air Vice Marshall Stuart Peach. Thompson said that Trident was a "biggest financial risk we face in future". It was a "monster" which kept him awake at night (Guardian).