- Published on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:30
The Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown has questioned whether the Government should be replacing Trident. He was speaking to the Telegraph only days before he steps down from his post. The newspaper says that he "questioned the value of Britain’s planned £20 billion replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent".
On overall defence spending, he says “a review is absolutely overdue and needed”. It is clear that, in his view, the Trident update should be scrapped. “I find it very hard to see how the current Trident delivery system – the submarines – survives that review. The plan for renewing them strikes me as [wrong]. There’s going to be a very legitimate debate about cheaper means of maintaining a minimum, stripped-down deterrent.” While he accepts that patching up the existing fleet or finding a cheaper, land-based alternative might be needed, he thinks even those options may soon be superfluous.
“Within our working lives, nuclear disarmament may have reached the point where they become redundant. It just looms as too big a cost."
Earlier this year he said in a speech in the House of Lords that the Government would only be procuring three submarines to replace Trident and not four, but this was never confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.