UK

Brexit: Impact on Trident

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The potential fall-out from the UK vote to leave the EU cannot be over-estimated. The political, economic and constitutional implications are deeply uncertain. The market turmoil and the plunge in the value of the pound will translate into massive financial pressures on government spending. The pressures for constitutional referenda in Scotland and Northern Ireland have just strengthened dramatically.

Brendan’s Call to Challenge Hate

We need to look again at identity politics

Horror, despair, rage, confusion: they and other emotions are all understandable reactions to Jo’s killing last week. Brendan Cox’s call for us to unite in challenging hate is one I take extremely seriously. Knowing him, I take these as concrete calls to action. But what action, beyond calling out the more obvious elements of hate in our society?

Commons Vote on Trident Imminent?

House of Commons

Whilst the UK media is relishing the drama over Britain’s leaving the EU, speculation this week suggests the Conservative government may rush a Trident vote through the Commons in July. It would do this to move on from a damaged referendum debate, and divert attention to a deeply divided Labour Party. This is clearly a temptation, but if they do go down this route it would represent an infantile inability to delay gratification for much greater political return later. Trident is a goose that just keeps laying the golden eggs for the Conservatives. An early slaughter would be the height of madness. The clever money is on a vote rather closer to or after the end of the year.

Concerning SSBN Vulnerability ­- recent papers

Two BASIC papers published in recent months (The Inescapable Net: Unmanned Systems in Anti-Submarine Warfare and A Primer on Trident's Cyber Vulnerabilities), have asserted the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent is in danger of becoming vulnerable in such a way that it can no longer be relied upon to fulfil its primary role.

Trident Advocates Target the Air-Launched Option

As Emily Thornberry, Shadow Defence Secretary, closes the consultation period on her defence review, critics of the review have been engaging on the substance. They worry that minds currently are just a little too open to alternatives for comfort, and that a non-Trident alternative could become Labour policy.

Feeding the ‘Monster’: Escalating Capital Costs for the Trident Successor Programme

In October 2015 Jon Thomson, Permanent Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, described the Trident Successor programme as a “monster” that kept him up at night, “the biggest project the Ministry of Defence will ever take on” and “an incredibly complicated area in which to try to estimate future costs.”  

Trident is Vulnerable

A debate is now raging over BASIC's exposure of the threat emerging technologies present to the future viability of Trident submarines. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) states they do not believe it is a problem, and that even if it were submarines would still be the best, most stealthy platform for nuclear missiles. The confidence implied in the MoD's public line is unjustified, and must surely cover up a deep concern held by strategists for the future viability of its most expensive weapon system.

What the future of Trident means for the UK's role in the world

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 18:30 to 20:30

Join us and YPFP for an engaging panel discussion looking at the future of Trident, and what it could mean for the UK's role in the world. We will explore the highly-charged domestic debate, how this relates to other British defense and foreign policies, and the international context within which this current debate is taking place.  

Making Sense of the Trident Debate Requires an Open Mind - In Defence of Emily Thornberry

It has always astounded me how little attention people have paid to risk and future developments when debating Trident. It's a debate that heats the passions up more than most, because it deals with such visceral things as security and morality, and acts as a proxy for political identity. All too often people revert to established positions, comfortable that they are right, even if they lose.

Next Generation roundtable: Britain's security and the role of nuclear weapons

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 19:30

BASIC's Next Generation project will host Crispin Blunt MP for remarks about Britain's security and the role of nuclear weapons, including specifics about the most recent SDSR released in November 2015 and the forthcoming parliamentary debate on Trident. This discussion event is for members and participants of BASIC's Next Generation project and is currently at capacity. Please email adatoo@basicint.org if you would like to be put on a waiting list.

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