The question of whether Britain should renew its Trident nuclear weapons programme will be debated and then put to a vote in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.
The issue of Britain’s nuclear capability has been fiercely debated for decades — with cross-party representation on the both sides of the argument.
Prime Minister Theresa May will describe the prospect of abandoning Trident as a “gross irresponsibility” prior to the marathon debate getting underway, according to the BBC.
Almost every Conservative MP will vote in favour of renewal.
The Labour Party, however, is split over the issue. Most Labour MPs are expected to back renewal, but leader Jeremy Corbyn will vote against it having been a lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons.
But, in reality, Monday’s vote has very little to do with Trident or the subject of the nuclear weapons. Theresa May decided to bring this to parliament for one reason and one reason alone: to embarrass the Labour Party.
The fact of the matter is the government will win the vote and probably with a very commanding majority. Over 70% of MPs supported renewal when the issue was put before parliament in 2007, and the general consensus is no different nearly a decade later.
Plus, there is really nothing new to say about this debate. No significant fresh pieces of information have been introduced to the conversation. Trident’s opponents are making the same points which they have made all along — and the appeal is just as limited.
Theresa May wants this vote to take place as it provides her with a fantastic opportunity to expose yet another divide in the Labour Party at a time when the opposition is on the brink of collapse.
Members of Labour are totally aware of this, too. “It will make no difference to what the government does, the government is proceeding with it in any event,” shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told BBC Radio 4. “This vote, in the last week of Parliament, is all about playing games with the Labour Party and trying to embarrass us.”
As you would expect, defence secretary Michael Fallon denied that the decision to hold the vote was politically motivated, but the real reason for this vote couldn’t be clearer. Labour is in crisis and the Tories have no plans to simply sit there and watch. They want to make life for the opposition as difficult as possible.
Business Insider’s Jim Edwards noted last week how Theresa May has already begun plotting the complete downfall of Labour by talking about issues with language that will resonate with left-wing voters. The Trident vote is just the latest stroke of May’s masterplan.
As long as the civil war within Labour rages on, the stronger the Conservative government grows. The Tories had a whopping 10-point over Labour in an ICM poll published on Sunday. This is completely unheard of. History tells us that the opposition party almost always leads in the polls at this stage in the electoral cycle — even opposition which later goes on to lose the election.
By the end of today’s vote, nothing will have changed. Britain will remain set to renew its nuclear defence system and the Labour Party will still be a party divided.
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