British Prime Minister Theresa May says she would be ready to allow a nuclear strike that can result in the deaths of 100,000 people.
May made the inflammatory remarks on Monday during a debate on whether to renew the country’s Trident nuclear program.
Scottish National Party (SNP) MP George Kerevan intervened in her opening speech, asking, “Is she personally prepared to authorize a nuclear strike that can kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children?”
“Yes,” May said, adding “I have to say to the honorable gentleman the whole point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know that we would be prepared to use it, unlike some suggestions that we could have a deterrent but not actually be willing to use it, which seem to come from the Labour party frontbench.”
She expressed sadness at the Green Party and some members of the Labour party who she said appear to be the “first to defend the country’s enemies.”
She described it as an act of “gross irresponsibility” not to renew the country’s nuclear p, adding that Trident “has been an insurance policy” for the UK for nearly half a century.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, responded to May, saying that he does not “believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate way to go about international relations.”
On Sunday, the SNP called on May to delay a parliamentary vote on the renewal of Trident.
SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson said Trident was “immoral” and plans to renew it needed “scrutiny.”
So far, the Ministry of Defense has refused to disclose the Trident program’s overall cost on the grounds that it is classified.
According to estimates by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Trident would cost around £205 billion.
The final vote was expected at 10 pm on Monday, when MPs are expected to vote in favor of renewing Trident, given that Corbyn has given the Parliamentary Labour Party a free vote on the issue.