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Why I am voting against Trident

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Tonight I will be voting against Trident renewal.

 It is a decision I have given immense thought to and I know it's a topic that affects us all. 

Firstly, the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review said that there is 'no direct threat to the UK or its vital interests from states developing weapons of mass destruction.'

The Cold War is no longer applicable and we face a different type of threat to our National Security, including international terrorism, cyber-attacks, public health scares and natural hazards.

We need a different type of defence to protect us all - not Nuclear Warheads that can annihilate millions of people. One Trident submarine has the capability of wiping out 5.4 million people.

I read the Chilcot report and saw how many of our brave service personnel were sent into battle in IRAQ, with often inferior equipment that resulted in tragic consequences when our armed forces should have had the best equipment available.

I would prefer scarce defence resources to be spent on fighting terrorism and making sure our forces have the best equipment and infrastructure available if we need to call upon them.

I have also been shocked at the rocketing cost of Trident renewal which estimates are put at £205billion.

we cannot afford such a programme when our Hospitals, Schools, and Public Services are starved of cash and are in a desperate state.

My constituency needs vital resources NOW and this programme of Trident renewal would make sure Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth would be put to the back of the queue again, because the cost is so vast. 

I have listened to with great care to Trade Unions who are rightly concerned about skilled jobs being lost.

Unite the Union support diversification of skilled jobs and I support a guarantee of those jobs being moved, over a period of time, to other sectors.

Unite remains opposed in principle to the possession or deployment of Nuclear weapons (including Trident) and state that any government must be willing and able to give cast-iron guarantees on the security of the skilled work and all the employment involved. That is something to which I fully subscribe.

Finally, I have been lobbied by many of my constituents on this issue. The overwhelming majority have asked me not to support the renewal of Trident.

There are some who have said that they are worried about our security in an unstable world and I have taken on board their concerns and tried to address that in my responses to them.

In the end, considering all the issues and facts in front of me and having carefully listened to all those who have contacted me, I will vote tonight against the renewal of Trident.

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