United Kingdom

What’s behind the deepening US-UK nuclear weapon cooperation?

The Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) lies at the heart of the special nuclear relationship between the United States and United Kingdom. The nuclear relationship set up by the MDA is seen to be beneficial to both the US and UK by cementing the bilateral relationship in sharing of nuclear weapons technology, as well as enshrining a certain uneven power structure in law.

Response to the Trident Commission Concluding Report

The Commission’s concluding report, published on 1 July 2014, is intended to inform a more considered debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon policy focused on national security, mindful of the politics and the strategic and diplomatic context. This is a direct response to the report and represents the views of the author. BASIC publishes it here as part of an ongoing discussion.

Talking about Trident & the Next Generation of Global Threats

BASIC and WMD Awareness kicked off their Talking Trident: A Conversation with the Next Generation event series on July 9th in Shoreditch in east London. These events are a series of debates being held to give young adults in Britain the opportunity to express their opinions on the issue of nuclear weapons before the government makes a decision on whether to renew its nuclear system, Trident, in 2016.

Beyond the Trident Commission Report

BASIC published last week the long-awaited Trident Commission report on Britain’s nuclear weapons policy. Our intention was to focus the debate, strip away the weaker, vague and dangerous arguments in favour of Trident renewal, and identify the core national security arguments that remain convincing to those close to the British government. We are now left with greater clarity on the grounds for debate: could Britain in future face alone a nuclear threat in which its nuclear weapons could effectively deter? How can Britain best contribute to creating the conditions for global nuclear disarmament?

Building Dialogue: The Trident Commission and our nuclear future

Dialogue is the most crucial ingredient in determining a future where we no longer live in the shadow of nuclear destruction. Without dialogue we will not be able to overcome the widespread orthodoxy that claims it is now impossible for nuclear weapons to be abolished. Without dialogue we will not be able to convince potential proliferators not to take the nuclear path.

US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement Renewal 2014: a foregone conclusion?

1958 saw the first protest march to Britain’s nuclear bomb factory at Aldermaston, the start of the deployment of US THOR ballistic missiles with thermonuclear warheads at RAF Feltwell, a series of British thermonuclear tests at Christmas Island and the US and the UK signing the Agreement For Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes – also known as the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA).

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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