The UK should keep in mind its commitments under the Non-proliferation Treaty. On the one hand it wants to retain nuclear weapons: on the other hand it wants to strengthen the prohibition on others acquiring them. In the past this contradiction was partly offset by our long held belief that the world would be better off free of nuclear weapons, and our commitment to disarm as soon as this could be internationally agreed. That commitment seems to have weakened over the years, along with our belief in the rule of law, and judging by the Trident debate so far, we now seem to have concluded that nuclear weapons are here to stay; that they provide security in a dangerous world; and that they are essential to maintaining our power and influence. If this is now our attitude, we can scarcely be surprised if others reach the same conclusion. It is time for a rethink.
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