One of the first decisions Theresa May made on becoming Prime Minister after the Brexit referendum was to approve the manufacture of four replacement submarines for our Trident nuclear weapons system. She argued that it would be an “act of gross irresponsibility” for the UK to abandon the continuous-at-sea weapons system, continuing the logic that a submarine which cannot be traced is an invisible force for retribution which would deter an aggressor.
I’ll pass on the issue of whether or not we should have nuclear weapons. That’s a different and important point to argue. What I’d like to highlight here is that whilst the concept that a nuclear submarine was undetectable may have been valid in the 1960s, it’s no longer the case. The countries that signed up to the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction now have the technology to know exactly where each other’s submarines are. So what is Trident meant to be protecting us from?