CND has today called for a full and open Review of government plans to replace Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system. There is increasing disquiet amongst the population – and from politicians from all parts of the political spectrum – at the prospect of spending in excess of £76 billion on a new system. This comes at a time of severe economic hardship and budget cuts and many are questioning whether such expenditure can be justified on a system which senior military figures have described as ‘militarily useless’.
Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said:
‘The government must now seize the initiative and start a full and open ended review of the decision to replace Trident. Its scope must include the option of scrapping it altogether. Some are suggesting that like-for-like replacement is too expensive and that Britain can go for a cheaper option. But we urge the government to pursue full nuclear disarmament. Replacing Trident with other forms of nuclear weapons will not deal with the problems of global proliferation that we ourselves are contributing to by failing to disarm. There are positive moves afoot – not least from President Obama – to bring about the global abolition of nuclear weapons. Britain must contribute fully and wholeheartedly to that process by abolishing its nuclear weapons entirely. We look to the Prime Minister to openly review the possibility of such an initiative.’
The current schedule for Trident replacement includes a decision by government – the Initial Gate – during Parliamentary recess this September. Over 160 MPs have now signed EDM 660 calling for a Parliamentary debate before this decision is taken to proceed to the next stage in the replacement process. The Foreign Affairs Committee also recommended a further Parliamentary debate in its recent report on global security and non-proliferation. To date, the government has resisted this option.