Jeremy Corbyn and Trident. What could possibly go wrong? | Callum R. Dann

Britain was the third country to test and obtain nuclear weapons. Although any patriotic soul with an interest in history would argue that Britain actually had the weapon first as it was a British idea which was moved over to America, after fear of bombings of the nuclear research facility in Wales and lack of funding. It was 3rd October 1952 - after Ernest Bevin, the then Labour Foreign Secretary, told a cabinet committee, “We’ve got to have this thing over here whatever it costs. We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack flying on top of it” - when Britain successfully tested its first atomic warhead. Bevin was Attlee’s foreign secretary. If Labour proposed Britain as a nuclear power, why does Labour want to know establish Britain as a deduced power?

Going forward 65 years and we reach the here and now. 2017. The issue of nuclear protection and capability still plagues many and the taxpayer have to fork out £167 billion to keep Britain’s nuclear deterrent, known as ‘Trident’, active. After taking over from David Cameron, Theresa May bravely took on the debate and held a vote in parliament regarding the issue of renewing Trident. When asked if she would be prepared to utilise Britain’s nuclear programme, the Prime Minister interlocked her palms and balanced them on the dispatch box, arching her back over to give a loud, commanding, “Yes”. Swiftly, however, her reasoning ensued as she continued, “the whole point of the deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it”. That is, no matter your political standing, Prime Ministerial talk. While Jeremy Corbyn delivered a miserable and rather embarrassing performance on Question Time, refusing to answer the question on using Britain’s nuclear capabilities, in return he was greeted with a roaring British laugh.

In such an uncertain world, where it takes one nuclear power state to end all the rest, what could possibly go wrong with a Prime Minister who wants to disarm and abandon British nuclear warheads?

Nobody is arguing the case for the use of nuclear weapons. If nuclear war can be avoided, it should. Those who understand we do not live in some fictitious world where everything goes to plan, also recognise the need for a nuclear deterrent; not only seeing the need for them, but the readiness to use them. Look at it through the eyes of an attacking power: are they more likely to attack if a country openly and actively maintains a constant at-sea deterrent and highlights their intention to use it if attacked; or a country which has nuclear capabilities but is not prepared to use it. Surely destroying another nuclear power would be beneficial to the attacking country, as it is one less credible threat. Hypothetical situations are all well and good, but we should – for balance – look at other benefits from upgrading, maintaining and using Trident.

Having Trident increases British influence across the world. Free people across the globe also focus on Britain for protection and guidance. America, our greatest ally, depend on us being a strong, stable and effective power in Europe. Partners in NATO and the UN see Britain as a key country in developing international relations – both for peace and stability. Trident is a force for good. Under a Labour government, we face losing such influence and global standing. Creating what the Labour party have protested against, ‘Little England’. A distinct and clear link can be made between the Trident and our two leaders. Theresa May is prepared to use Trident, if that doesn’t show strong and stable leadership, nothing will. Jeremy Corbyn is prepared to let Britain go nuclear-free in a world where the threat of a nuclear was is ever growing. Therefore, to answer the question, what could go wrong – grave consequences for Britain’s place in the world, leaving us hopeless and alone post-Brexit.

Perhaps one day we will be able to achieve unilateral disarmament but it will not happen under Corbyn’s Labour, it will not happen in 5 years. Until that day we must pursue Trident.
What could possibly go wrong? Without fear mongering: everything could.

Corbyn. Trident. Too big a risk!

Callum R. Dann is a writer for Student Voices.

Jeremy Corbyn and Trident. What could possibly go wrong? | Callum R. Dann Jeremy Corbyn and Trident. What could possibly go wrong? | Callum R. Dann Reviewed by Student Voices on 11:27 Rating: 5

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