The Archbishop of Wales and Michael Portillo both argued thatTrident should not be renewed, the latter saying that more than half of the army chiefs of staff agreed.
Trident in Scotland
If Scotland votes for independence, the government would consider designating Faslane as sovereign United Kingdom territory, ensuring Trident’s access to the sea. The government says it would cost tens of billions of pounds over many years to decommission Faslane and to move Trident to Devonport or Milford Haven. It has previously put the cost at £150 million.
Senior Nato officials have warned Alex Salmond’s government that an independent Scotlandwould be barred from joining Nato if there were any disputes over the basing of nuclear weapons on theClyde.
TRIDENT ALTERNATIVES REVIEW
The Trident Alternatives Review, led by the LibDems, was published in July. It is athttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trident-alternatives-review. It completely avoids the real question: why do we need nuclear weapons at all?
However, in response, CND has published ‘The Real Alternative‘ a review outlining the case for abolishing theUK’s nuclear weapon capability. It is at http://www.cnduk.org.
CND’s review says:
- A range of options must be explored, and a decision taken on what most contributes to national security.
- Non replacement is a credible option which offers serious strategic and economic benefits.
- It would enable the country to have more flexible responses to emerging challenges.
- There would be savings of over £100 billion over the lifetime of Trident.
- It would improve global security, strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty, by demonstrating our commitment to it.
- It would give theUKmoral and diplomatic leadership in global disarmament initiatives, including a Nuclear Abolition treaty and the creation of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in theMiddle East.
Three questions guiding the LibDem review
- Are there credible alternatives to a submarine-based deterrent [such as bombers or land-based missiles]? Answer: “No
- Are there credible submarine-based alternatives to the current proposal [such as equipping an existing submarine class to launch nuclear missiles]? Answer: “No”.
- Are there alternative nuclear postures, such as non-CASD [continuous at sea deterrent], which could maintain credibility? Answer: “Maybe”