Borders protest staged prior to vote on Trident

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More than 50 people gathered in Melrose’s Market Square on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile system.

The UK Government voted to renew Trident earlier this week by 472 to 117 votes, with Borders MP Calum Kerr voting against it, in line with all his fellow Scottish National Party MPs.

Mr Kerr sent a message of support to the protesters, to be read out by one of the organisers, Jane Pearn.

After Monday’s vote, Mr Kerr commented: “People in Scotland will never forget that one of Theresa May’s first priorities as Prime Minister was to promote the renewal of the morally reprehensible Trident nuclear system.

“This isn’t just an ethical issue. At a time of austerity, to commit billions for weapons we can never use is beyond contempt. It is the worst response to a period of deep political and economic uncertainty in the UK.

“This is the last thing we need when families are going hungry and the economy is crying out for investment after all of the uncertainties brought about by the EU referendum.

“Rather than shoring up Britain’s international status, which Brexit had already damaged, renewing Trident will be seen as yet another demonstration of an all too prevalent attitude in modern Britain – that all of our problems can be solved by isolating ourselves from the rest of the world.

The co-organiser of the Borders protect, Kath McDonald, 69, said: “It was good to see so many like-minded people standing up for what they believe passionately in. There was singing and dancing, and a strong feeling of solidarity.

“It seems that the people of Scotland do not want weapons of mass destruction here in Scotland nor anywhere. Nor do the vast majority of our Scottish MPs at Westminster.”