The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today (12 September 2010) welcomed reports that the National Security Council will discuss the future of Trident replacement when it meets on Friday. It appears that the discussion has now gone beyond who funds it - giving rise to the recent row between the MoD and the Treasury - to whether the system should be replaced at all, and if so, by what.
Since the Coalition government announced that the future of Britain's nuclear weapons system would not be included in the Strategic Defence and Security Review - in spite of one of its stated aims being to get beyond Cold War thinking - demands for its inclusion have come thick and fast from all levels of politics and society.
Public concerns about the cost of Trident have fuelled major lobbying of the Treasury via its Spending Challenge consultation. An analysis of submissions found that those tagged under 'Defence' have been dominated by those seeking spending cuts on nuclear weapons.
At both the stage of submitting ideas and the second stage of voting on them, Trident has dominated in the area of Defence. Of 1926 original submissions tagged with the Defence label, over 600 call for spending on Trident to be cut - with the overwhelming majority wanting the system to be cut altogether.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said: "Reports that the National Security Council will discuss the future of Trident replacement are very welcome. It is quite extraordinary that Liam Fox has been refusing to consider its future when massive cuts are to be made in the Defence budget and demand for its review has been so widespread.
"Common sense has now prevailed and it is greatly to be hoped that the Council will be made aware of the views submitted to the Treasury Spending Challenge consultation on Trident. Members of the public have expressed very strong opposition to such wasteful spending and if public consultation is to mean anything then these views must be taken into account."