Glasgow North West MP Carol Monaghan has called on the UK Government to respect Scotland’s decision against Trident renewal and remove the nuclear weapons from the Clyde.
In a vote in the House of Commons last night, 58 of Scotland’s 59 MPs voted against Trident renewal – with Scotland’s only Tory MP David Mundell being the sole proponent. The decision of 98 per cent of Scotland’s MPs to reject Trident follows a vote in the Scottish Parliament last November in which MSPs also voted by an overwhelming majority of 96 to 17 against renewal.
A long-time member of Scottish CND, Monaghan spoke at an anti-Trident demonstration on Buchanan Street on Saturday (16th July). Protests were held across 36 Scottish cities, towns and villages ahead of tonight’s vote, organised by Scrap Trident.
Commenting following the vote, Monaghan said:
“I am deeply disappointed that the House of Commons has decided to renew Trident nuclear weapons of mass destruction, against the wishes of a clear majority of my constituents and of Scottish society.
“To spend £167 billion on these weapons of mass destruction is an outrageous and indefensible waste of resources at a time when we are being told by this UK government that we do not have enough money to properly fund and protect our conventional forces, our public services, or support for ordinary families and the most vulnerable.
“The priority for defence spending should be to invest in conventional defence capabilities – not nuclear weapons. We are in the absurd situation that Scotland as a maritime nation is without a single maritime patrol aircraft to defend our waters and is without conventional naval vessels based in Scotland. Armed forces personnel numbers in Scotland are at a historic low.
“Proper and sustained investment is needed in areas such as maritime patrol, in surface vessels and aircraft patrolling Scotland’s shores. We could have major conventional warships based in HM Naval Base Clyde which enhance its importance as a strategic port. And a fleet of advanced conventional warships in Faslane would need more Royal Navy personnel and more support staff than Trident currently requires, giving us a sensible conventional defence force that would be ready to deal with threats in the North Atlantic when required.
“The UK Government must now work with the Scottish Government to respect Scotland’s clear decision against Trident renewal and ensure the earliest safe withdrawal of nuclear warheads from Scotland, and to discuss the retention and diversification of HM Naval Base Clyde as a conventional naval base.”
Watch Carol make an intervention in the debate here: