Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trident decision delay a big win for the Liberal Democrats

Yesterday's defence review was always going to be difficult. Nowhere had Labour left a bigger mess than at the MOD with horrific overspends.

There was some good in it, though - the fact that thousands of jobs in Rosyth and Govan are safe is a huge relief for those areas.

And the there's the fact that there will be no decision on replacing Trident in this Parliament. That is better than I was hoping for and better than I thought we were going to get from the Coalition Agreement. I'd like to see us get rid of all nuclear weapons. I think it's wrong that we have them at all. However a reduction in warheads and winning the argument that it's unnecessary to rush into ordering the next generation of nuclear weapons is a big win for the Liberal Democrats within the Coalition.

Party President Ros Scott e-mailed Party members last night with the good news:

Dear Caron,
The Liberal Democrats have long argued that Trident is an out of date, unnecessary and hugely expensive weapons system that the UK has no need of in modern times. In this period of fiscal constraint it is also a luxury we can ill afford. Nick Clegg was right to argue powerfully against Trident renewal during the Leader's Debates. Our party was right to stand in contrast to both the Conservatives and Labour on this issue.

Today, within the Strategic Defence Review, the Coalition Government announced that there will be no final decision on the like-for-like replacement of Trident during this parliament. So Trident will not be renewed this parliament - not on a Liberal Democrat watch. Let us be clear, this is a significant victory for Liberal Democrat campaigners, and a fantastic example of what our Ministers can and do achieve in government.

But the Coalition Government is not just saying no to replacing Trident this parliament. It is going further. It is also taking important steps towards the goal of multilateral nuclear disarmament. The announcement today sees a 25% cut in warheads.

Today is yet another day that we can all feel hugely proud to be a party of government, delivering key Liberal Democrat priorities.

Best wishes,
Ros Scott
Party President

I'm glad that our ministers have successfully argued this case within Government.

1 comment:

Richard Thomson said...

Yes, good news indeed. However, as admirable as your own personal position might be, the harsh, stark fact of the matter remains that the Lib Dems are in favour of Britain retaining nuclear weapons.

A position of "We want nukes, just not Trident" presents your party with a bit of a difficulty, as I've blogged before [
]. When is Menzies Campbell due to publish his review of what he thinks should replace Trident?


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