Dear Craig Tracey,
Yesterday, you and many of your colleagues in the Commons voted to renew the Trident nuclear missile programme, a process which may cost up to one hundred and forty billion pounds (£140,000,000,000). That number is higher than the total cost of running the NHS for one year.
In the hopes of better understanding the reason for your vote, I have a series of questions I would like you to answer:
1. This process of updating Britain’s nuclear capabilities comes at a time when thousands of Brits cannot feed their families, cannot pay their bills, and cannot access public services. Do you have any thoughts as to why spending money to alleviate suffering is hotly debated, but money for weapons of mass destruction is always readily available at a moment’s notice? Isn’t there something wrong with the government’s willingness to pay for things which kill people, but not things that keep them alive?
2. Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Britain is a signatory, we have an internationally mandated responsibility to make good-faith efforts to seek nuclear disarmament. Doesn’t your vote to renew Trident fly in the face of this treaty and, if it does, are we to assume that Britain should simply do as she pleases regardless of the promises she makes to the international community?
3. Britain’s membership of NATO places it in a defensive alliance with two other powers that possess weapons of mass destruction: France and the United States. Given that both of these powers possess the ability to simultaneously defend us and themselves in a nuclear war, and would surely do so, isn’t it safe to disarm our WMDs and spend the money elsewhere?
4. The threats that Britain faces have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. We must now contend with groups and individuals whose existence cannot be eradicated through the use of weapons of mass destruction. Using a nuclear warhead on ISIS, for example, would not yield any results. Can you tell us which nuclear threat(s) you specifically had in mind when you voted to renew Trident? Was it Israel? China? India? Russia? France?
5. Would you not agree, at least in principle, that the fewer weapons of mass destruction there are in the world, the better?
Craig Tracey, Conservative MP: Reply time unclear – MP publishes responses on his website with no date.