I’m backing Briton’s national defences
Nuclear deterrent is worth the price
Trident renewal is far from incompatible with multilateral disarmament.
The best way to convince fellow nuclear powers to reduce their stockpile of weapons is to engage in a tit-for-tat process; that sees countries work together to reduce their holdings and stop the spread of these weapons.
Simply abolishing our own arsenal does nothing to take this forward and it’s wishful thinking to imagine other nations would happily fall into line.
Of course, there’s an extra Scottish dimension to this debate; the 6,700 people employed at Faslane.
For years, Trident has supported skilled jobs on the Clyde and the defence sector is a vital part of the Scottish economy.
We must protect these jobs and I’m pleased the Chancellor recently announced a £ 500 million investment into Faslane.
From 2020, it will be the Royal Navy’s Submarine Centre of Specialisation with all of the UK’s underwater capability based in Scotland. This is expected to increase the number of jobs at the base to 8,200.
This investment is not about Trident renewal - that decision will take place next year -- it’s about supporting Scottish infrastructure and the jobs reliant upon it.
Contrast this approach with that of the SNP. They claimed the investment was “arrogant” (which is a strange way of looking upon support for Scottish industry) and confirms their obsession with casting everything the UK Government does in a negative light.
For my part, I will continue to back Britain’s national defences and the Scottish jobs they support. I do this, because I believe - just like polling shows the majority of Scots believe -- that it’s only by retaining our independent nuclear deterrent that we ensure the costs of an attack on the UK will always be greater than anything an adversary might wish to gain.
It’s a simple calculation but a powerful one all the same.
Scottish Labour might not know where it stands, but for me our nuclear deterrent remains a crucial component of our national security.
Ruth Davidson MSP