Trident Commission

Since 2011 BASIC has been running an independent, cross-party commission to examine the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons policy and the issue of Trident renewal. It’s final report and background papers were published on 1 July 2014:

The Commission’s concluding report is intended to inform a more considered debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon policy focused on national security, mindful of the politics and the strategic and diplomatic context.

We encourage people to respond to the Concluding Report and submit to us brief responses to the report that seek to challenge and take the debate further. Our intention is to publish a representative sample here from all shades of opinion:

  • Responses to the Trident Commission

To submit a reponse to the Trident Commission’s Concluding Report, please email Paul Ingram at [email protected]


The Commission operated under the chairmanship of Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne), former Labour Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Conservative Defence and Foreign Secretary, and Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and Shadow Foreign Secretary. It was launched on February 9, 2011 in Parliament.

To see the full membership of the Commission panel, click here.

The Commission:

  • Examined the international context within which the decision on Trident renewal now sits;
  • Assessed current UK nuclear weapons policy and the policy of the United Kingdom in efforts to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation;
  • Examined the costs associated with Trident renewal and any potential consequences for non-nuclear portions of the defence budget; and
  • Considered all possible future policy options with the potential to maintain UK national security while further strengthening efforts at multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The Commission previously published a series of background briefings that informed the final report of the Commission. Briefings published during the period of the Commission’s deliberations included:

  1. Beyond the UK: Trends in the Other Nuclear Armed States, Ian Kearns, October 31, 2011
  2. Defence-Industrial Issues: Employment, Skills, Technology and Regional Impacts, Keith Hartley, March 21, 2012
  3. Entente Nucléaire, Bruno Tertrais, June 25, 2012
  4. Deterrence, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and UK Trident, John Simpson, March 28, 2013

All Statements and reports by the commission, together with copies of all written evidence submitted to it, will be found on these pages. For further information please see the links on the left.

Trident Commission has been funded by:

WF Southall Trust

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Ploughshares Fund

Nuclear Education Trust

The Marmot Charitable Trust

Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation

The Mulberry Trust

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