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ScrapTrident


News

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Trident vote in 2016 will test respect for Scotland

Writing in the Sunday Herald, Rob Edwards outlines how Trident was a major issue in 2015 and how the vote on renewing Britain's nuclear weapons in 2016 could test the Union to breaking point. He describes how the MOD are spending £4.2 billion on new nuclear-armed submarines before the formal decision has been taken by Westminster.  Whistleblower William McNeilly described Trident as a "disaster waiting to happen". His concerns were compounded by official reports showing a sharp rise in incidents at Faslane and how a shortage of key staff was the major risk to the safety of the defence nuclear programme. 

Poll confirms Scots opposition to Trident

A new poll for TNS confirms Scottish opposition to Trident.  It asked "Do you support or oppose the UK Government replacing the existing Trident nuclear weapon system with a new nuclear weapon system?" The results were: oppose 38%, support 29%, neither 26%, don't know 7%.  Opposition to Trident was strongest in the under 55 age groups (41-42%) and weakest in the over 55 age group (32%). In the 16-24 age group there was little support for Trident (17%) and significant opposition (37%), but also a large number who neither supported nor opposed (40%). There was less support for Trident among women (21%) than men (38%).  

Other polls have shown a higher level of opposition, up to 80%, when the cost involved is included in the question.

Previous attempts to argue that most people in Scotland support Trident have been misleading. (source) They were based on giving three options in a poll, including a cheaper/less powerful alternative which is not on the table, and then combining two of the options. Scottish polls in recent years which have asked a straight question have all found that there are significantly more opposed to Trident than support it.

FT reveals problems with Trident renewal

Two articles in the Financial Times provide a new insight into the problems facing the Government’s plan to renew Trident. Both are written by Peggy Hollinger, the paper’s Industry Editor. The front page of the paper says that the Cabinet are considering nationalising the nuclear submarine part of Rolls Royce. The company has issued five profit warnings in two years and there are fears of a foreign take over. Defence Procurement Minister Philip Dunne said the government was “concerned that Rolls Royce ... is capable of performing its nuclear obligations”.  

Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

In the light of the Labour Party's abstention in the Trident debate on 24 November, Scottish CND has sent the message below to Jeremy Corbyn.

We are surprised to hear that you abstained in the vote against the renewal of Trident, and we are unhappy that the Labour Party decided to adopt a policy of abstaining on this key moral issue. We have been contacted by a large number of our members concerned about this apparent reversal of your previous position.  We are writing to you to give you the opportunity to respond to these concerns.

Scottish MPs oppose Trident as costs soar

The contrast between views on Trident in Scotland and the rest of the UK are likely to be highlighted today. 95% of Scotland's MP are expected to vote against Trident renewal in a House of Commons debate. The motion says "That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed". Most Labour MPs are expected to abstain or not be present. A small number have indicated that they will vote with the Tories for Trident. 

Shadow Chancellor John Macdonnell has urged his Labour colleagues to abstain on what he has told the press is an "SNP stunt". This is despite the fact that he and the new leader Jeremy Corbyn were amongst a handful of Labour MPs who voted for a similar SNP motion on 20 January this year. 

Far from being a "stunt" the debate is a well-timed opportunity to tackle the issue of Trident the day after David Cameron announced that the initial manufacturing costs of Trident had risen from £25 billion to £41 billion and that the new submarines, which had been expected to enter service in 2028, would not now be operational until "the early 2030s". Earlier this year it was revealed that there were major problems in the MOD's management of the defence nuclear programme, following a review led by Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary at the MOD, and Air Vice Marshall Stuart Peach. Thompson said that Trident was a "biggest financial risk we face in future". It was a "monster" which kept him awake at night (Guardian).

Don't Bank on the Bomb

A broadly based campaign focussing on the links between banks and financial institutions to companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons will be launched at a public meeting in Edinburgh on Monday November 16th. Arthur West chair of Scottish CND said- "I am delighted to announce that the launch of the Scottish Don't Bank on the Bomb Campaign will be kicked off by a public meeting in the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church at 25 Nicolson Street Edinburgh on Monday November 16th at 7.30 pm."
 
Mr West revealed that a range of campaigning organisations such as the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Edinburgh CND, Medact and the student-based People and Planet are all supporting the launch event. In addition support for the meeting is being given by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Global Justice Now.

Respect Scotland: Scrap Trident!

We have just launched a new  declaration calling on David Cameron to Respect Scotland and Scrap Trident.

 Sign our petition online, or at one of stalls.

The wording of the petition is

We call on the UK Prime Minister to respect the democratic will of the people of Scotland and cancel the £167 billion plan to renew Trident.

Britain has no record of multilateral disarmament

Pro-Trident politicians are keen to argue that they only support multilateral disarmament and to dismiss unilateral disarmament. However, the reply to a question in Parliament shows that Britain has no record of achieving any reductions through multilateral disarmament.  Paul Flynn MP asked: "how many UK nuclear weapons have been withdrawn from operational service as a result of (a) multilateral negotiation and (b) unilateral action since 1985." On 10 November 2015 Defence Minister Philip Dunne replied: "The UK has a strong record on nuclear disarmament. Since 1985 the WE 177 and Polaris warheads have been removed from operational service leaving only one type of nuclear warhead in service delivered by the Trident missile system. These withdrawals from operational service have been as a result of unilateral action."

Test of upgraded Trident sparks UFO scare

The flight test of two upgraded Trident missiles resulted in a flurry of concern about UFOs as the missiles were seen streaking across the night sky from California. The tests were taking place to certify new flight control electronics in the upgraded Trident D5A missiles. The new missiles are due to enter service with the US Navy in 2017 and on UK submarines before 2020. The overall effect of the missile upgrade and the related introduction of upgraded (Mk4A) nuclear warheads is to make Trident even more destructive. The new missiles and warheads will be significantly more effective against hardened targets, such as underground bunkers. However, attacks on hardened targets involve detonating the weapon on the surface which creates a masses of radioactive fallout.

Responding to concern about UFOs, a US Navy spokesperson said: "The big, bright flash some mistook Saturday for a detonation, missile intercept or UFO is actually the result of the solid-fueled Trident missile jettisoning one of its three stages." 

Holyrood takes strong stance against Trident

The Scottish Parliament adopted a strong position against Trident renewal with 96 MSPs supporting the motion and only 17 voting against.

That the Parliament notes with concern new analysis by the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, which suggests a dramatic increase in the projected cost of the successor Trident nuclear weapons programme to £167 billion; ―recognises the number of workers in the British defence system in Scotland and throughout the UK whose employment is linked to Trident-related activities and that firm commitments must be made to the trade unions on the retention of defence workers’ jobs; believes that, in the event of the cancellation of Trident, the establishment of defence diversification agencies at Scottish and UK levels is essential to deliver a strong defence diversification strategy that provides workers with high quality employment through the retention of skills developed in the sector, while delivering a UK defence sector equipped to deal with the world and dangers that it possesses, and calls on the UK Government not to renew Trident.