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MOD cannot afford Trident replacement

A new report from Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute indicates that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) cannot afford to go ahead with the plans to replace Trident, but they are likely to do this anyway. The squeeze on other parts of the defence budget could see regular army numbers declining to 50,000.

SNP reaffirm Trident red line

Scottish CND has welcomed a statement by Stewart Hosie MP on Scotland Tonight. The SNP deputy leader  made it clear that any support for a Labour government in a hung parliament would depend on them abandoning their plans for Trident replacement.

John Ainslie of Scottish CND said, "We are glad that Mr Hosie has cleared up this matter. We welcome the SNP's promise not to support any Labour government if it squandered £100 billion on more nuclear weapons."

There had earlier been speculation in the Guardian that the SNP had watered down its stance. However Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, in a reply to the Guardian, "What I actually said is that SNP would NEVER vote for Trident".


Trident renewal pledge in Labour manifesto

Scottish CND has expressed disappointment at Sadiq Khan's statement today on Radio 5 that the Labour manifesto will include a commitment to renewing Trident. John Ainslie, Coordinator of Scottish CND said: "We are disappointed that the Labour party will commit to renewing Trident in their election manifesto. This goes against the views of many of their own candidates as well as the majority of people in Scotland.  In a time of austerity the last thing we should be doing is spending £100 billion on more weapons of mass destruction.  Nuclear weapons only make the world more dangerous, they do nothing to make us any safer."

Officials discussed Trident just before referendum

Senior officials in the Ministry of Defence held a top-level meeting on the future of Trident only 3 days before the referendum on Scottish independence. Attending the meeting were: Bernard Gray (Chief of Defence Materiel), Rear Admiral Mark Baverstock (Chief Strategic Systems Executive), Andrew Mackinder (Strategic Weapons head) and Rear Admiral Mike Wareham (Submarine director). 

Trident and Dresden

Victor Gregg's account of the bombing of Dresden is a stark reminder of the impact of incendiary weapons. Gregg was a Prisoner of War in the city when it was destroyed in a British raid. He describe the horror of the firestorm that engulfed the city:

"Everything was in flames, even the roads, which were burning rivers of bubbling and hissing tar. Huge fragments of material flew through the air, sucked into the vortex. We could see people being torn from whatever they were hanging on to and drawn into the ever-deepening red glow less than 200 yards away.  

£4.2 bn spend before Trident decision made

A report by Rob Edwards in the Sunday Herald reveals that the UK Government plan to spend £4.2 billion on the Trident replacement programme before the decision is made to go ahead with the new system. This "Main Gate" decision will be made in 2016 by the MPs elected in May 2015. 

The initial "Concept Phase" of the project cost £900 million.  We are now part-way through the "Assessment Phase" which will cost £3.3 billion, giving a total of £4.2 billion. The figures come a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO). The NAO also disclose that the MOD failed to aniticipate how difficult it would be to design a new reactor for the Trident replacement submarine. The costs of PWR3 have risen by £151 million because of a shortage of suitably qualified engineers. 

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Would Labour bow to SNP pressure on Trident?

On Sunday 1 February Douglas Alexander appeared on the Andrew Marr show. He was asked about Trident. His response was interpreted in several papers as meaning that Labour would not bow to SNP pressure on Trident, in the event of a hung parliament. However this interpretation is suspect.

The headline in the Scotsman was "Douglas Alexander rules out SNP deal over Trident". The Herald said "Douglas Alexander warned his party would not negotiate over Britain's nuclear deterrent". 

Nuclear Doublespeak Phrasebook

Have you received a reply from your MP about Trident? Would you like to find out what they are really saying ?  Check our Nuclear Doublespeak Phrasebook.

Trident and genocide

The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz has focused attention on genocide and the need to avoid any further atrocities in future. The issue of whether the term genocide can be applied to the use of nuclear weapons was considered by the International Court of Justice in its 1996 Advisory Opinion on the threat or use of nuclear weapons.  The Court concluded that it would depend on the circumstances whether or not a nuclear attack constituted genocide -