decision-making

UK Nuclear Policy Now: Questions Remain

The Conservatives fought the election with a clear policy of like-for-like renewal of the Trident nuclear weapon system, and now have a majority in Parliament and fully control the government. The Labour Party also contested the election on a similar policy. If there was any doubt prior to the election that Trident renewal would go ahead, it is surely answered unequivocally now.

NPT is an Election Issue: UK Member of Elite Club of Irresponsible Nations

Nuclear weapons are attracting a higher profile in this UK election debate than they have in any nuclear weapon state in a generation. Yet the focus is dominated by symbolic prejudice (does a political leader have the necessary mettle to resist minority opinions and renew Trident?) rather than strengthening national security in the round, let alone Britain's contribution to global peace and security.

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.

BASIC response to 'Retiring Trident'

Today Centre Forum published the report ‘Retiring Trident: An alternative proposal for UK nuclear deterrence’ by Toby Fenwick. This report is an important and timely contribution to the debate on options facing an incoming government. BASIC does not endorse this option specifically, though the paper is well argued and an excellent response to those who assert that like-for-like replacement of Trident is the only credible nuclear weapons option for the United Kingdom.

An appeal for strategic thinking in security strategy

Obama and Cameron

President Obama will be giving his State of the Union Address tomorrow (Tuesday) night, his chance to outline his national strategy. Americans will be looking for forward-looking inspiration from their Commander-in-Chief. Less in the spotlight, on Thursday the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will be giving evidence in front of the parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, where he is expected to discuss the operations of the National Security Council and his plans for the next National Security Strategy to be published after the next election in 2015.

Britain's political parties and their nuclear postures

In 2016, for only the second time in Britain’s history as a nuclear power, Parliament is expected to vote to decide the future of the United Kingdom’s strategic nuclear deterrent. Britain’s nuclear policy is heavily influenced by the ideological positions of Britain’s three dominant political parties. Each of the parties has a spread of opinion within them.

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