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>> Mr. Speaker, I want to say I->> It's a fairly established case for renewing Britain's nuclear deterrent, but it's the first time we've heard it from Theresa May as prime minister.>> The nuclear threat has not gone away, if anything, it has increased.>> Debate is underway in Parliament to see if MPs agree, culminating in a ballot late Monday.
This is explosive in particular for the Labor Party, as if they needed any more fireworks. I'm Reuters reporter Jacob Greaves. Where this is what's known in Westminster is a free vote for Labour. Meaning that MPs can vote on conscience rather than party lines. But their leader Jeremy Corbyn is strongly against Trident, unlike many of his lawmakers.
>> The funds involved in Trident renewal are massive. We must, I think, also consider the complex both moral and strategic issues of our country possessing weapons of mass destruction.>> The party's current policy is to back Trident. But if Jeremy Corbyn had his way, it would take a similar approach to that of the Scottish Nationalist Party.
They reject the UKs current nuclear arsenal based in Scotland. As it stands Britain has 4 nuclear arms submarines, one of which is always at sea to provide a constant deterrent. The ministry of defense has said a replacement will cost 31 billion pounds with a further 10 billion pounds set aside as a contingency.
But those figures are hardly contested. Calculations by Reuters and the conservatives law maker suggest it could be as high as 167 billion pounds over 32 years.>> And I commend this motion to the House.>> And the timing of this non binding vote is also contentious. Senior labor figures argue, it's taking place now to broadside the party as it fights an internal leadership battle.