A decision is due on replacing the existing submarines for the Trident nuclear weapon system. These submarines are built in the North West of England.
Those who support it believe it is a deterrent and weapon of last resort that has made a major war unimaginable, making smaller conflicts the only option. They also believe that Europe should play its part in defence of the west and not rely wholly on the USA. The UK and France have this capability in Europe. Several other countries in the world have the capability and others are developing it. Another element is in maintaining the thousands of skilled jobs involved with it.
Those against it point to the moral aspect of weapons of mass destruction and war in general. They believe that current wars are more related to insurgency than major attacks and that defence should be sized for that. They also point to the cost and how the money could be better spent. Some are developing a case to say the technology is outdated. Others think it makes them a more likely target.
No doubt most people would like to reduce defence costs although some say an alternative would be more expensive. On the moral side the only country to have given up nuclear weapons is Ukraine and the UK was a signatory to the agreement to defend its borders. A rather thin guarantee in the end.
In reality the jobs aspect should have no bearing on the decision as it is a matter of defence need and it is likely that other submarines and more ships will be needed to carry alternative weapons as well as extra squadrons of aircraft.
Although using nuclear weapons appears unimaginable, as a weapon of last resort they definitely appear to have a deterrent effect. As there are smaller wars happening in Europe and the Middle East and China is building new bases far out to sea it seems a risky option not to maintain the capability and hope that they are never needed.
The leader and some Labour MPs are aligned with the SNP and Green Party in wanting to remove nuclear weapons. Although a large number of Labour MPs support the renewal. The Conservatives support renewing the system and it is expected a vote in Parliament will approve it this year.