The Graun has misinterpreted this one.
Cameron can’t really exploit splits in Labour because, once the membership has had its say, it will be clear that there is no split.
Labour’s membership is more or less solidly against renewing Trident because it is a waste of money that would not, in fact, deter anyone who is mad enough to want to launch nuclear missiles against the UK.
No – Cameron wants to delay the vote because he doesn’t want to fight two battles at the same time.
He wants to get the EU referendum out of the way first, and then focus on winning the Trident vote.
In practise, it may be that he won’t even have to bother with Trident at all.
If he loses the referendum vote, that task may fall to his successor.
David Cameron is to delay holding a parliamentary vote on renewing the Trident nuclear weapons programme until after a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, according to senior Whitehall sources.
The prime minister believes that the referendum campaign, which could be in full swing in just over a week’s time, will complicate efforts to build a strong national consensus over the £31bn renewal of the nuclear deterrent.
There had been an expectation that the “maingate” vote to approve the Successor generation of four nuclear submarines would be held in March. But it will be delayed until at least July if the EU referendum is held on the prime minister’s preferred date of 23 June.
The decision to delay the vote will fuel speculation that Downing Street is seeking to exploit Labour divisions over the nuclear weapons programme.
Cameron insists that his focus is on making and winning the argument for renewing the Trident programme. But he believes that Labour’s confused position is helping his campaign to reach out to middle ground voters.
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