Parties join in audacious bid to scrap Trident

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The SNP have joined with Welsh nationalists and the Greens in a bid to have the Trident nuclear weapons system included in the strategic defence review.  They have also called on Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs opposed to the system to support their amendment to the Queen’s speech.

The amendment would ensure that the renewal of the weapons system was not excluded and would be a first step in scrapping it altogether – thus saving £100 billion….


The SNP have joined with Welsh nationalists and the Greens in a bid to have the Trident nuclear weapons system included in the strategic defence review.  They have also called on Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs opposed to the system to support their amendment to the Queen’s speech.

The amendment would ensure that the renewal of the weapons system was not excluded and would be a first step in scrapping it altogether – thus saving £100 billion.

The Liberal Democrats, although opposed to the renewal of Trident, have accepted as a condition of their alliance with the Conservatives a commitment not to vote against the renewal.  However it is unclear how many Lib Dem MPs will vote for the amendment, the party have stated publicly that, even within the alliance agreement, they will continue to make the case for alternatives.

The bid coincides with the announcement by the Westminster coalition of a public consultation on the package of cuts to be introduced in order to address the UK’s serious debt problem, a legacy of the last Labour government.  The scrapping of Trident would certainly have the backing of the vast majority of the Scottish public.

SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:
“A strategic defence review is necessary to prioritise our defence needs in a changed world, but you cannot have a meaningful debate about that if you start by excluding the future of the Trident programme.

“Our view remains that it should be scrapped and more so, at a time when public spending faces savage cuts across the board, the time has come to accept that Trident can no longer be treated as some sacred cow.

“It will be a sham exercise if the UK Government proceeds with a defence review that does not include the future of the hyper-expensive Trident programme while considering cuts to other conventional forces and operations.

“Anyway that you look at it; on moral, economic or political grounds, renewal of these weapons of mass destruction is untenable.”

Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Elfyn Llywd MP said:
“Renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system will cost £100bn over the next 30 years. David Cameron and Nick Clegg simply must not sleepwalk into making this massive financial commitment to an outdated, ineffective weapons system.

“In the coalition’s Programme for Government, the Liberal Democrats assert they will continue to make the case for alternatives to Trident but when will they do this if the future of the system is not considered as part of a Strategic Defence Review?

“Even aside from the moral arguments, at a time when the government is looking to make cuts across all departments, it does not make sense for any spending review to ignore one of the most costly and unnecessary tax-payer funded projects.”

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP added:
“As we begin a new parliament with a new government, the time has come to rise above party politics and fundamentally challenge the decision to renew Trident.

“We cannot continue to lecture countries such as Iran on the implications of their nuclear programme whilst proceeding blindly with our own – a move which would be both hypocritical and dangerous.

“Moreover, nuclear weapons remain a costly distraction from the real security threats we face, like climate change.  The billions being spent on Trident replacement could be much better spent on investing in developing the infrastructure we need for a zero carbon economy, as well as in protecting public services.

“To use the money on a project that will make Britain and the world a far more dangerous place is politically irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and economically obscene.