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Conservative Party policy on Trident

The Conservative Party are committed to proceeding with Trident replacement. It is committed to maintaining constant nuclear patrols and has indicated that 4 new submarines will be required.

Conservative manifesto 2015:

"We will retain the Trident continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile Submarines – securing thousands of highly-skilled engineering jobs in the UK." (Conservative Manifesto)

Defence Minister Michael Fallon told the House of Commons on 20 January:

"this Government are committed to maintain that credible, continuous and effective minimum nuclear deterrent based on Trident and operating in a continuously at-sea posture for as long as we need it.

... Others have suggested that we should move away from continuous patrols and have a part-time deterrent, as if our enemies did not work the full week, but there is simply no alternative to a continuous at-sea deterrent that can provide the same level of protection and the ability to deter an aggressor. We know that because successive Governments have looked at the different options for delivering a deterrent capability. Most recently, the Trident alternatives review in 2013 demonstrated that no alternative system is as capable or cost-effective as a Trident-based deterrent. It also found: “None of these alternative systems and postures offers the same degree of resilience as the current posture of Continuous at Sea Deterrence, nor could they guarantee a prompt response in all circumstances. All the previous studies have also shown that four submarines are required to maintain the continuous posture."