United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Thursday that it would be foolish for the country to abandon its Trident nuclear program in the wake of potential nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.
Cameron wrote in the Daily Telegraph that the country needs the Trident nuclear deterrent program or it would be left defenseless against "highly unpredictable and aggressive" regimes.
"We need our nuclear deterrent as much today as we did when a previous British Government embarked on it over six decades ago ... The Soviet Union no longer exists. But the nuclear threat has not gone away," he wrote.
"The highly unpredictable and aggressive regime in North Korea recently conducted its third nuclear test and could already have enough fissile material to produce more than a dozen nuclear weapons," he added.
Cameron said that as uncertainty and potential risks have increased with countries like North Korea mastering long-range ballistic missile technology, an independent nuclear deterrent is a must for the country.
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"Does anyone seriously argue that it would be wise for Britain, faced with this evolving threat today, to surrender our deterrent?" he asked.
However, the ruling coalition partners, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, disagree on the Trident program, due to the high cost of maintaining it.
Shadow defense minister Kevan Jones said that although it was necessary for the U.K to have an independent nuclear deterrent, the nature of the deterrence should be decided based on the cost and military requirements.
"World events demonstrate that in an unpredictable era our country needs the ultimate security guarantee," he said, according to a BBC report.
"The precise nature of the deterrent must be judged on meeting military capability requirements and cost."
However, the Scottish National Party, which is against the Trident program, said it would not allow the U.K. government to base nuclear weapons in Scotland, if next year’s referendum favors independence.
Defense spokesman Angus Robertson said: "It is the most enormous blunder for the No campaign to place Trident at the center of the referendum debate. The [Scottish] Parliament and 80 percent of the people of Scotland want to get rid of Trident and the obscene waste of up to £100 billion it represents at a time of austerity and savage welfare cuts from Westminster,” the Herald Scotland reported.
Cameron, who arrived in Scotland on Thursday, said that Scottish defense jobs will be more secure if it chooses to remain in the U.K.
"Scotland counts for more on the world stage because it is part of the United Kingdom, and Scottish defense jobs are more secure as part of the United Kingdom.
"I remain absolutely committed to the defense of the United Kingdom and to the future of defense jobs in Scotland. Defense matters. We are stronger and safer together," Cameron added.