Maurice Golden: Trident is good for jobs, security and the world

Royal Navy security personnel stand guard on HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's fleet of four submarines carrying the Trident nuclear missile system. Picture: Getty
Royal Navy security personnel stand guard on HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's fleet of four submarines carrying the Trident nuclear missile system. Picture: Getty
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The world is becoming an increasingly risky place. Events in Turkey in the last 72 hours have proven as much.

We do not know the threats to global security in the coming years. Our independent nuclear deterrent at Faslane is our insurance against those unknown threats.

It would, of course, be better if we could live in a world without nuclear weapons but they cannot be dis-invented. So the best way to reduce the stockpile of warheads over the coming years is via a multilateral approach, with the UK playing a full role in that.

If we decide today to cancel a new generation of successor submarines, we end our role in that process. At a time when hostile nations are trying to build nuclear warheads, we must support our international allies in the bid for global security.

Despite what the SNP claims, more Scots support keeping our nuclear deterrent so long as other nations are keeping theirs. And it is affordable, too – because, as a United Kingdom, we can pool resources. This has massive economic benefits for my own area in the West of Scotland and beyond. The GMB union estimates that as many as 40,000 Scottish jobs are linked to the deterrent in some way. Neither the SNP nor Labour has said how it will replace these highly skilled jobs in the event that Trident is cancelled.

The GMB Union says it is time to get real on Trident. I agree. Retaining our nuclear deterrent is good for jobs, good for our security, and good for global security too.

l Maurice Golden is Conservative MSP for the West of Scotland, which includes Faslane naval base