British lawmakers have finally voted to renew the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system.
In a 472-to-117 vote on Monday, lawmakers approved renewing Trident, a multi-billion pound project regarded as key to maintaining the UK’s status as a world power.
They approved the building of four submarines to ensure Britain can have nuclear weapons continuously at sea.
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said nuclear threats were growing in the world and Trident “puts doubts in the minds of our adversaries.”
The move came despite opposition from the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson called Trident “immoral” and said plans to renew it needed “scrutiny.”
“It is obscene that the priority of this government … is to spend billions of pounds on outdated nuclear weapons that we do not want, do not need and could never use,” he said during the debate Monday.
“This government has a democratic deficit in Scotland and with today’s vote on Trident it is going to get worse not better.”
In her first statement in parliament as prime minister, Theresa May called on lawmakers to back Trident.
“What this country needs to do is to recognize that it faces a variety of threats and to ensure we have the capabilities that are necessary and appropriate to deal with each of those threats,” she said ahead of the vote.
She also said she would be ready to authorize a nuclear strike that can result in the deaths of 100,000 people.
In response to May’s remarks, Corbyn said, “I would not take a decision that kills millions of people, I do not believe the threat of mass murder is a legitimate way to go about dealing with international relations.”