Trident Commission

BASIC has set up an independent, cross-party commission to examine the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons policy and the issue of Trident renewal.

The Commission  is operating  under the chairmanship of Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne), former Labour Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Conservative Defence and Foreign Secretary, and Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and Shadow Foreign Secretary. It was launched on February 9, 2011 in Parliament. 

To see the full membership of the Commission panel, click here.

The Commission is:   

  • Examining the international context within which the decision on Trident renewal now sits;
  • Assessing current UK nuclear weapons policy and the policy of the United Kingdom in efforts to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation;
  • Examining the costs associated with Trident renewal and any potential consequences for non-nuclear portions of the defence budget;  
  • Considering all possible future policy options with the potential to maintain UK national security while further strengthening efforts at multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; 

The Commission is publishing a series of background briefings that will inform the final report of the Commission due in 2013. Briefings published so far include:

  1. Beyond the UK: Trends in the Other Nuclear Armed States, Ian Kearns, October 31, 2011
  2. Defence-Industrial Issues: Employment, Skills, Technology and Regional Impacts, Keith Hartley, March 21, 2012
  3. Entente Nucléaire, Bruno Tertrais, June 25, 2012
  4. Deterrence, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and UK Trident, John Simpson, March 28, 2013

The Commission is also hosting a number of public meetings to discuss the key issues surrounding the UK debate on the future of nuclear policy. These so far include:

  1. Question Time: Britain’s nuclear choices and the context, October 31, 2011
  2. The Trident Commission: work in progress, APPG event, December 5, 2012

All Statements and reports by the commission, together with copies of all written evidence submitted to it, will be found on these pages . For further information please see the links on the left.

We are now in the drafting stage of the Commission’s final report.


To download a PDF of the Trident Commission leaflet click here

Follow the Commission on Twitter: @basic_int  #BASICTriCom


Trident Commission has been funded by:

WF Southall Trust

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Ploughshares Fund

Nuclear Education Trust

The Marmot Charitable Trust

Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation

The Mulberry Trust