ICAN Scottish Partner

Latest Events

Donate to SCND

Amount to donate:
£  GBP  




ScrapTrident


A Peace of History
Scottish CND's 60th anniversary exhibition and website
Peace Education Scotland
Peace Education - Resources, talks in schools, The Nuclear Weapons Debate
School speakers, Resources, The Nuclear Weapons Debate
Join Scottish CND
Join us in the campaign for nuclear disarmament

Liberal Democrat policy on Trident

The Liberal Democrats are in support of replacing Trident with new ballistic-missile submarines, but with fewer than four.

Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2015:

"Step down the nuclear ladder by procuring fewer Vanguard successor submarines and moving from continuous at sea deterrence to a contingency posture of regular patrols, enabling a surge to armed patrols when the international security context makes this appropriate. This would help us to fulfil our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty commitments and reduce the UK nuclear warhead stockpile" (Lib Dem manifesto)

 

In the 2010 election the Liberal Democrats adopted a position on Trident which was clearly distinct from Labour and the Conservatives. They said they did not support a like-for-like replacement for Trident and left an opening for non-replacement as an option.

Since being part of the Coalition government their position has move significantly back toward the pro-nuclear Labour-Conservative consensus. They initiated a review into Trident Alternatives. However the study was conducted by the Cabinet Office who inevitably concluded that alternative nuclear weapon systems were less attractive. The review did not consider non-replacement. It argued that other nuclear weapons options would be more expensive than a ballistic-missile submarine system (like Trident). This has resulted in the Liberal Democrats joining Labour and the Conservatives in calling for the construction of new Trident-type submarines. The option of non-replacement is no longer mentioned by the Lib Dem leadership.

The Liberal Democrats, unlike Labour and the Conservatives, argue that the new submarines do not need to maintain a continuous at-sea patrol. Consequently they suggest that 3 rather than 4 submarines might be built.

Danny Alexander said that these changes would reduce the through-life cost of the new system by £4 billion.  As these whole-life costs are £100 billion, this means that Danny's cheap alternative would still cost £96 billion.