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MPs vote on renewing Trident nuclear deterrent

Prime Minister Theresa May said she wasn't going to gamble on Britain's safety, as she opened a commons debate on whether to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent.

The Government is committed to replacing the country's ageing fleet of submarines, a motion which Jeremy Corbyn has been vocally against.

Divisions in the Labour party were once again laid bare, as many of Mr Corbyn's own MPs stood up to disagree with him.

Our Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports:

MPs approve renewal of Trident nuclear deterrent

Theresa May made her first despatch box appearance as prime minister Credit: PA

MPs have voted in favour of renewing the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent by 472 votes to 117 - a majority of 355.

The result is a strong vote of confidence in the weapons system, renewal of which is predicted to cost £31 billion, with a £10 billion contingency fund also set aside.

The vote follows a near six-hour debate in the Commons in which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opposed the motion, earning him strong criticism from many in his own party.

Theresa May, who made her first despatch box appearance as prime minister, spoke in favour of the motion, warning it would be a "reckless gamble" for the UK to rely on other nations for its nuclear deterrent.

Trident renewal 'will speed up Scottish independence'

Renewing Britain's nuclear deterrent system will speed up Scotland becoming an independent country, the SNP's Angus Robertson has warned.

The SNP's Westminster leader said the Scottish people are being ignored by the UK Government, as he reminded MPs renewing Trident is not what constituents want.

Mr Robertson claimed Trident is an an "immoral, obscene and redundant weapons system" in his speech ahead of MPs voting on renewing Trident, which led to applause and cheers by his colleagues in the House of Commons.

He said the party had repeatedly won elections on its "explicitly anti-Trident manifesto".

The people of Scotland have shown repeatedly, clearly and consistently that we are opposed to the renewal of nuclear weapons.

If Scotland is a nation, and Scotland is a nation, it is not a normal situation for the state to totally disregard the wishes of the people, and this Government has a democratic deficit in Scotland, and with today's vote on Trident it's going to get worse, not better.

It will be for the Scottish people to determine whether we are properly protected in Europe and better represented by a Government that we actually elect - at this rate, that day is fast approaching.

– Angus Robertson, SNP's Westminster leader


Corbyn questions the effectiveness of nuclear deterrent

Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has questioned the effectiveness of Trident, as MPs prepare to vote on renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: "What is the threat that we are facing that over a million people's deaths actually deters?

"It's not from the so-called Islamic State - their poisonous death cult glories in killing as many people as possible, as we've seen brutally in Syria, to east Africa, from France to Turkey.

"It hasn't deterred our ally, Saudi Arabia, from committing dreadful acts in the Yemen. It didn't stop Saddam Hussein's atrocities in the 1980s or the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It didn't deter the war crimes in the Balkans in the 1990s, nor the genocide in Rwanda.

"I do not believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate to go about dealing with international relations."

May: Some MPs 'the first to defend our enemies'

Theresa May accused Green MP Caroline Lucas and some Labour MPs of defending the country's enemies, as MPs prepare to vote on renewing Trident.

The MP for Brighton Pavilion had said the UK's nuclear weapons are "driving proliferation - not the opposite", before the prime minister rejected the suggestion, saying: "I have to say to you that sadly you and some members of the Labour Party seem to be the first to defend the country's enemies and the last to actually accept the capabilities that we need."

Mrs May said it is "a great pity" that members of the Labour front bench "fail to see the necessity" of Britain's nuclear deterrent "given that the Labour party in the past has put the British national interest first in looking at this issue."

Speaking in the Commons, the prime minister added that we "cannot afford to relax our guard" and "need to be prepared to deter threats to our lives and our livelihoods."

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