The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has welcomed Danny Alexander’s commitment to ensure a full and open debate on the future of the UK’s nuclear weapons.
In an interview with The Guardian, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who is leading the Trident Alternatives Review, asserted that we are at a ‘significant moment’, with an historic opportunity to reconsider Britain’s nuclear arsenal.
Alexander stressed the need to reformulate policy on Trident replacement – citing the financially ruinous £100bn+ price-tag of like-for-like replacement and its irrelevance to Britain’s 21st century defence needs.
He stated that the Lib Dem-led review will produce a ‘clear, credible, compelling, set of arguments for alternatives’, and he challenged ‘politicians of all parties, including Labour politicians, [to] look at this review when it comes out with an open mind.’
Speaking in the wake of the latest tranche of personnel cuts by the Ministry of Defence, he also made clear the impact of Trident spending on conventional defence forces and the antipathy to Trident within the military.
Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said:
‘Danny Alexander is right to point out what he describes as the “real significance of this debate for the future of our country” – it’s high-time that Labour and the Tories realise that a blind commitment to wasting well over £100bn on a new nuclear weapons system is not what the public want. If that still doesn’t convince them – then how about the fact that it’s unusable, strategically redundant and not even the military want it!’