governance

Monday's Trident Debate: What was mentioned, what was left out?

On Monday night, MPs voted 472 to 117 to replace UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, following a five and half hour Parliamentary debate. The atmosphere was tense; the united SNP benches made an impassioned case against Trident from across the room, while the Conservatives all voted in favour, but for the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who voted against the motion. Many arguments were aired both for and against Trident. But what kind of arguments did the MPs make?

Trident: A Done Deal?

Trident is in the news again, and will continue to generate heat in the run up to a parliamentary debate promised later this year on the programme and patrolling posture. But the outcome is clear, pre-determined in the minds of the political elite and to some extent in contractual and diplomatic commitments. For now. Could the equation change in the next parliament? The momentum behind the project appears unstoppable, but beware unexpected shocks before coming to a firm conclusion.

Trident: the need for a comprehensive risk assessment

HMS Victorious

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), planned for publication on 23 November 2015, is expected to include an update on the Trident renewal project and financial estimates. Main Gate decision is likely to be put to Parliament early 2016. Like every major government project, MoD procurement officials will have conducted a detailed confidential risk analysis for the construction, but this project requires a far broader, comprehensive risk analysis over a set of areas, as listed in this briefing.

A Memo to the Next Prime Minister: Options Surrounding the Replacement of Trident

The Main Gate decision on the construction of a new fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines at a capital cost of £20-25bn is expected early 2016. This Memo to the Prime Minster clarifies that there will in fact be a range of options available when a decision is to be made including the commissioning of four, three or two Successor submarines, further delay in the programme or a decision to begin the process of divesting the UK of its nuclear arsenal.

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