Evidence received by Dr Julian Lewis MP

JULY 2011

In his evidence Dr Julian Lewis MP maintains that there are political and military arguments in favour of the renewal of Trident. As future military threats and conflicts are difficult to predict, and no-oneknows which enemies we might confront over the next 30–50 years, it is safer for the UK to retain its strategic nuclear deterrent.

UK prominence as the principal ally of the United States, its strategic geographical position and the fact that we are obviously the junior partner, might tempt an aggressor to risk attacking the UK separately. An independently controlled British nuclear deterrent massively reduces such prospect. Whereas no quantity of conventional forces can compensate for the military disadvantage which faces a non-nuclear country in a war against a nuclear-armed enemy.

A large majority of the population consistently takes the view that it is safer for the United Kingdom to retain nuclear weapons. The ending of East-West confrontation has not altered the balance of public opinion, because it could easily re-emerge and unpleasant regimes are on the point of acquiring nuclear weapons and some may already have done so.

The role of our strategic nuclear force remains what it has always been: to deter any power armed with mass-destruction weapons from using them against us in the belief – true or false – that no-one
would retaliate on our behalf.

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