The UK Defence Secretary confirmed in February 2020 that it is working with the United States to develop a new nuclear warhead, as part of the Trident replacement programme.

Kate Hudson, CND’s general secretary, commentated on the news:

“This statement confirms that the government has broken the promise to MPs that the decision to build nuclear warheads would be taken by parliament. Instead, this deal has been agreed in secret with the United States, and the government has admitted it only after Pentagon officials let the cat of the bag. It seems that the US/UK special nuclear relationship now supersedes parliamentary scrutiny, accountability and decision-making. This is a dangerous and anti-democratic development and must be rolled back.”

Click here for a briefing on the full Trident replacement programme

CND has repeatedly warned that the so-called ‘special’ relationship with the US is dangerous. In recent years, current US President Donald Trump has brought into sharp focus the very worrying aspects of Britain’s relationship with the United States. Maintaining it gives active support to Trump’s policies and draws us into Trump’s nuclear warmongering. Now it seems that the relationship supersedes parliamentary authority even.

It is also notable that such a big decision has been taken to start building these nuclear bombs ahead of the government’s upcoming foreign policy and defence review, pre-empting any possible conclusions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings want to overhaul Britain’s role in the world and have announced the review will ‘identify the necessary reforms to government systems and structures to achieve these goals’.


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