parliament

Report: Meaningful Multilateralism: 30 Nuclear Disarmament Proposals for the Next UK Government

The need for nuclear disarmament through multilateral diplomacy is greater now than it has been at any stage since the end of the Cold War. Trust and confidence in the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime is fraying, tensions are high, goals are misaligned, and dialogue is irregular. 

In Meaningful Multilateralism, BASIC and UNA–UK offer 30 multilateral disarmament proposals for the incoming UK Government after the General Election on the 8th June, themed according to three types of leadership the UK has previously shown in disarmament:

Voting for Trident before the Scotland question is settled is illogical

Vanguard at Faslane

The UK Parliament will be voting tonight on the principle of replacing Trident nuclear weapons system. It is a symbolic commitment, unconnected to any contracts or procurement timetable. Meanwhile, the government commitment to leave the EU is stoking calls for a second Scottish referendum. As the UK’s nuclear weapons submarines have their only base in Scotland, voting for Trident before coming to an agreement about the UK’s future makes no sense.

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.

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.

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

SDSR word cloud
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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