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Trident: government urged to consider the “real alternative”

No Trident Replacement BadgeToday, the Cabinet Office office has launched a review document exploring alternatives to like-for-like replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. But anti-nuclear campaigner have been quick to point out that one viable option is not on the table: nuclear disarmament.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has launched an alternative document, entitled The Real Alternative: What the government’s Trident Alternatives review isn’t telling you, making the case for the option of full disarmament to be considered ahead of the anticipated parliamentary vote on Trident replacement in 2016. It makes the case for non-replacement of Trident being a viable option on five grounds:

  • Improved national security
  • Improved global security
  • Vast economic savings
  • Adherence to legal obligations
  • Moral and diplomatic leadership

However, CND has welcomed the Trident Alternatives Review’s contribution to the debate, in the case it makes for Britain not requiring a nuclear submarine to be at sea at all times. In a statement, the campaign says:

If the outcomes of the Review are as anticipated, this will be a step forward in breaking down the political status quo over nuclear weapons and will help open up the wider debate as we head towards 2016.  But the full disarmament option must also be on the table. CND advocates complete nuclear disarmament and argues strongly that we should scrap Trident and cancel its replacement.We believe that nuclear disarmament is the only real option for ensuring Britain a safe future – and allowing the best use of tax payers’ money on necessities such as health, education and housing, rather than weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, former Labour defence secretaries have weighed in on both sides of the debate. A letter in today’s Telegraph calling for like-for-like replacement is signed by George Robertson and John Reid alongside some of their Tory counterparts, while Des Browne has argued that “times have changed” on numerous occasions.

Anti-Trident MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for non-replacement. You can lobby your MP to sign it here.

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