Press Association via The Guardian
Ash Carter says it is important the UK has military might that backs up â€˜its moral standing and its historical standingâ€™ in world
Britain must keep itsÂ TridentÂ nuclear deterrent to maintain its â€œoutsizedâ€ role in the world, the US defence secretary, Ash Carter, has said.
Carter said the nuclear-armed submarines were an â€œimportant part of the deterrent structure of Natoâ€.
MPs areÂ expected to voteÂ on government plans to renew the weapons system, an issue on which Labour is split.
The Ministry of Defence estimates that acquiring four new submarines to carry theÂ TridentÂ deterrent would cost Â£31bn over the course of the 20-year procurement programme, with a further Â£10bn set aside to meet any additional unexpected cost increases.
CarterÂ told the BBCÂ that Trident enabled Britain to â€œcontinue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standingâ€.
â€œItâ€™s important that the military power matches that standing and so weâ€™re very supportive of it,â€ he added.
â€œWe depend upon the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom depends on us, thatâ€™s part of the special relationship. We build Joint Strike fighters together, we build Trident missiles together.â€
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn favours unilateral disarmament but faces a showdown with some of his shadow cabinet, including shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who said he believed in multilateral action.