Newham Recorder Big Debate: Was it right for MPs to renew Trident?

The decision to pay for the renewal of the UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident, was sealed as MPs voted to update its carrier submarines in the face of anti-war protests.

With East Ham MP Stephen Timms among the Labour MPs who defied party leader Jeremy Corbyn and voted in favour, we're asking whether this was a vital step for UK security, or an unnecessary price to pay.

Tim Roll-Pickering, Deputy Chairman Political at West Ham Conservatives

In an ideal world nuclear weapons wouldn't have been invented. But we don't live in an ideal world.

Thus, we must decide whether we renew our deterrent or leave ourselves in an uncertain world where states can rapidly become threats and once reliable allies may cease to be so. No-one supports the deterrent lightly but because it's necessary.

As long as other states can threaten us, Trident is the ultimate insurance policy, maintaining peace through a balance of power.

The world has been dramatically transformed in the three decades since the country adopted Trident. It can rapidly change again. One need only look at how Russia has changed, including annexing territory from Ukraine, the only country to give up its nuclear weapons.

Through Nato, the UK guarantees the safety of fellow members who haven't got nuclear weapons. At a predicted cost of £3billion a year over 30 years, within a £40billion defence budget, Trident is not a ridiculously priced luxury but an affordable underpinning of our overall defence strategy.

The submarines reach the end of their operating life in the next decade and the time it takes to develop replacements mean we can't keep to deferring a renewal decision. MPs voted to renew – it was both the right time and the right decision.