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GMB oppose Trident Replacement

In a letter to the Guardian, published on 30 December, the Acting Secretary of the GMB union opposed plans to replace Trident, and distinguished this issue from that of nuclear power: \"The decision on whether Britain should replace the Trident system and continue to have nuclear weapons is due this parliament. In the past, the debate about nuclear weapons has been confused with that of civil nuclear power, which we believe is wrong (ICM poll, December 27). There is no logical link between the two. The debate about a new generation of nuclear power stations should be kept separate from that about replacing the current generation of nuclear weapons. There is no rational military purpose that the current Trident system could serve. It is effectively obsolete and has been since the end of the cold war. Similarly, there is no rational military purpose for a new generation of nuclear weapons. The risks and costs associated with retaining nuclear weapons are not simply financial; the damage to international diplomacy is substantial. But the financial costs are also huge. The role currently performed by our defence forces is diverse and complex - and yet there appears to be a significant problem in supplying an adequate amount of usable equipment. Some of the billions earmarked for nuclear weapons could be used to equip them better. One of the reasons Britain still has nuclear weapons is because the government believes it justifies a seat on the UN security council. The reality - that our nuclear weapons are dependent on the US - means that our diplomacy at the UN is locked into that of the US.\" Paul Kenny Acting general secretary, GMB