MPs will engage in a six-hour debate over the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent from this afternoon (18 July 2016). The row over the renewal of Trident will come to a head when a vote is held in the House of Commons around 10pm BST.

Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to open proceedings, with a defence of the continuous at-sea programme. The Conservative premier will claim it would be an irresponsibility to scrap the system, which cost £18.35bn ($24.31bn, €22bn) to create and will cost at least a further £41bn to upgrade over its 20-year lifetime.

The government's pro-Trident position is clear, but the Labour opposition is split three ways over the issue.

Long-time unilateralist Jeremy Corbyn is expected to vote against renewing the programme, while shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is hoping that Labour MPs abstain on the vote and some backbenchers are backing Trident.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock claimed that his party's official policy is to back the renewal of trident.

Unite and GMB, Labour supporting trade unions, also take this pro-Trident stance since thousands of their members would face job uncertainty if it were ditched.

Thornberry, the former defence secretary, had led a policy review into Labour's military positions. But the report, originally planned for a week after the EU referendum, has been delayed because of the Brexit result.

The SNP, the third-largest part in the Commons behind the Tories and Labour, are unambiguous on the issue. The nationalists oppose renewing the nuclear weapons programme. Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, has branded the system as "immoral, obscene and redundant".

The debate on Trident's renewal is expected to take place between 4pm and 10pm in the main Commons' chamber. You can watch the event live on Parliament TV and BBC Parliament and follow @IBTimesUK for updates.