UK

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:

The outcome of the Trident vote will not be the last word

Parliament has today voted in favour of the government's plans to replace the four Vanguard class submarines with Successor submarines, based upon continuous submarine patrolling. This vote may have provided the country's new Prime Minister Theresa May a quick and immediate opportunity to demonstrate business as usual, a new government keen to get things done post Brexit. But it will not close down the issue, for these reasons:

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.

The UK and its Role in the World

Union Jack at UN

The fifth of BASIC's 2016 Parliamentary Briefing series relating to the Trident debate focuses on the UK's role in multilateral nuclear disarmament.

David Cameron announced at the NATO summit in Warsaw on Saturday, “a parliamentary vote [to be held] on July 18 to confirm MP's support for the renewal of four nuclear submarines capable of providing around the clock cover”. Theresa May is expected to follow through with this decision.

A Primer on Trident’s Cyber Vulnerabilities

HMS Westminster

The second of BASIC's 2016 Parliamentary Briefing series relating to the Trident debate is a primer on Trident's cyber vulnerabilities. Cyber threats impact both critical civilian infrastructure and all military systems dependent upon digital control and communications. Trident systems must be seen as a valuable cyber target for adversaries keen to neutralise any nuclear threat against them.  If they can have some confidence of preventing a Trident launch, where does that leave nuclear deterrence? Cyber vulnerability also raises critical questions of strategic stability.

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