The SNP keep claiming replacing Trident will cost £100 billion. This is a figure they got from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which is not exactly impartial, and which includes annual maintenance and upkeep.
The strategic defence review’s figure is £25bn; at today’s prices spread over 30 years that’s something around a £1bn-a-year cost to the UK.
Even if the £100 billion was correct we are talking about £3bn a year over 30 years. To put this into perspective the UK public spending and welfare costs for 2015 alone will be well in excess of £700bn, a figure that is bound to rise each year over the 30-year Trident lifespan, especially if Labour and the SNP have fiscal powers.
It seems to me that, given the increasingly parlous state of the world, this is a small price to pay for our continuing national security.
The only country to give up nuclear weapons was Ukraine and look what is happening there. Would Russia have done what it has done if Ukraine still had a nuclear capability?