You may be aware that it has just been announced that the Prime Minister will
introduce the Government’s proposals on Trident to the House of Commons on
Monday 4 December.
Today I’m unveiling the recommendations on the future of Trident drawn up by
our Liberal Democrat policy working group. These proposals will be presented to
the Federal Policy Committee and the conference in Harrogate will have the
final say in spring.
The proposals call for Britain’s nuclear weapons to be cut by half. This
significant cut would give us the opportunity to kick-start multilateral
disarmament talks, whilst also demonstrating to all countries that the UK takes
seriously its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Our proposals also call for the life of the current submarine-based system to
be extended, which would give us until at least 2014 to judge progress on
tackling nuclear proliferation, the state of multilateral disarmament talks and
the security situation in the world before having to decide whether or not to
commit to a new system.
I believe it would be unwise at this time for Britain to abandon its nuclear
weapons altogether. But neither should we spend tens of billions of pounds in
A deterrent of approximately half the current size, and extending the life of
the current submarine system, would be sufficient to provide for Britain’s
ultimate security until we have more certainty about proliferation.
A nuclear weapon-free world is highly desirable. Cutting our stockpile in half
would send a strong signal that nuclear disarmament is back on the
international agenda and that Britain is prepared to act first.
Britain could at anytime choose to scrap its nuclear deterrent completely, and
this option remains on the table.
You can read more about these proposals on the party’s website at
You can also register for our Spring Harrogate Conference at
http://www.libdems.org.uk/conference/conference-registration.html where, along
with debating this important issue there will be a range of other policy
debates, a wide spread of fringe meetings and numerous training opportunities