The UK has now embarked on an expensive, long and controversial programme to replace Trident, beginning with a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines to carry the US-designed and built Trident missiles into the 2060s. Debate on whether and, if so, how to replace the current system continues. It is this debate that provides a significant opportunity for Labour under Ed Miliband’s leadership to take further important steps towards controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and strengthening UK national security.
A progressive UK nuclear policy is one that acknowledges the realities of an evolving nuclear security environment and the overwhelming British interest in serious progress towards nuclear disarmament. This means rethinking current notions of ‘minimum nuclear deterrence’ in terms of the size and operation of the UK’s nuclear arsenal.
This briefing by Dr. Nick Ritchie lays out the rationale for a progressive UK nuclear weapons policy as the domestic debate on Trident renewal continues.
This briefing was commissioned by WMD Awareness and BASIC in order to stimulate discussion within the Labour Party and reflects the views of the author, not WMD Awareness or BASIC.