BASIC is seeking to foster informed debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon system, which is currently composed of a fleet of four Vanguard SSBN submarines carrying US-supplied Trident missiles with British nuclear warheads.
Britain faces an imminent decision on the future of its nuclear weapons programme as its current Vanguard class submarines will become increasingly unreliable as we approach 2030. The government announced the start of the process in 2006 and approved the “initial gate” decision in 2011 approving design concepts around a replacement SSBN. A “main gate” decision is planned for 2016 in order to begin construction of the first submarine soon afterwards.
BASIC engages with those who will influence and make the decisions on this in order foster an open and informed debate, ensuring that all decisions and credible options are fully considered. BASIC will be continuing this debate by highlighting the fact that options remain on the table after the May 2015 election. The United Kingdom has an opportunity to help further the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime by making responsible decisions closer to home.