Mairi Evans opposed to Trident renewal

Mairi Evans
Mairi Evans

Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Evans MSP has added her name to the list of politicians who are opposed to the renewal of Trident

Evans spoke out earlier this month at a Holyrood debate - lodged by Bill Kidd MSP - following the publication of a report by independent think tank The Jimmy Reid Foundation.

The report de-bunked the argument that scrapping Trident would lead to mass unemployment, claiming that its renewal was coming at a cost of £18 million per job.

And while a resounding House of Commons vote in July saw a 472 to 117 majority for the replacement of the nuclear deterrent - at a potential cost of £205 Billion - Ms Evans insists this decision should be overturned.

Ms Evans said: “Morally, we simply cannot support the renewal of such weapons of mass destruction, nor should we be forced into accepting them on our own doorstep.

“The storage, the testing and the transporting of the weapons and their waste all put Scotland at risk on a day-to-day basis, and if anything went wrong - whether by accident or by design - the effect on our country would be absolutely catastrophic.

“Look at the economic case against Trident renewal. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament currently puts the cost of Trident renewal at a colossal £205 billion. Even the best-case scenario estimate from the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Crispin Blunt, puts the figure at £179 billion.

“Last year, I took part in a debate on social security in which MSPs gave account after account of constituents who were suffering at the hands of Tory-imposed austerity, which included people who had been forced into starvation and illness because of sanctions and people with disabilities who were having their money reduced.

“Agency after agency told us about the effect that austerity and cuts to benefits and welfare was having on their members, and there were reports of people becoming increasingly ill, isolated and suicidal. “We have seen the proliferation of food banks across our country, we suffer from food poverty, and an estimated 22 per cent of children living in Scotland live in poverty.

“That £205 billion could be better spent, and not only in the areas that I have mentioned, as it could be invested in industries—carbon capture and storage, for example, and our renewables industry - that have a real future in Scotland but which Westminster has also seen fit to cut funding for.

“What infuriates me most is that when it comes to war and weaponry money is never an issue and can always be found but when it comes to the poorest and most vulnerable in our society we are told about the dire straits that our economy is in and there is never any budget.

“There is no such thing as a nuclear deterrent. Nuclear weapons have not stopped terrorist attacks here or elsewhere in the world; they have not prevented wars from being started and they have not helped to end them.

“The whole Trident renewal process and the absolutely colossal expense that goes with it are simply a means of gratifying the UK’s—actually, the Westminster Government’s - superiority complex.

“It is a dangerous vanity project that needs to be scrapped.”