It was utterly predictable that Trident renewal would be used by the Conservatives to question Labour's credibility and trustworthiness, and by the smaller anti-nuclear parties to distinguish themselves, but the profile of the issue in this election campaign has been far greater than anybody predicted.
It may sound like an oxymoron but we need a new global conversation which engages all nuclear-armed states en route to disarmament. Is there such a thing as a responsible nuclear-armed state in the 21st century? If so, what does it look like?
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.
On Tuesday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to United States Congress members urging them to block any deal with Iran on its nuclear program and raise support for more sanctions against the nation.
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.
Representatives from China, France, Russia, the US and UK (the five official nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty), convened in London last week for a meeting of the so-called ‘P5 process’.
Nuclear weapons have become symbolic weapons, for display only. They are not weapons of war. They have played no part in the wars of the last few decades. When nations felt threatened, they did not look to their nuclear arsenals for a sense of security.