The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has expressed outrage at what it described as "Government bad faith" over Trident replacement.
The anti-nuclear weapons organisation says that answers given to two recent Parliamentary Questions show that MoD spending on Trident replacement – prior to the Main Gate Parliamentary decision point in 2016 – is actually £2 billion more than the previously reported amount of almost £4 billion. It also points out that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has stated that the government has “no plans” to publish the Liberal Democrat led ‘Trident Alternatives Review’.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, issued the following statement: “The decision on whether or not to go ahead with Trident replacement is not due until 2016. But the MoD is behaving as if it has already been taken. This is an affront both to Members of Parliament who are due to make that decision and to the British people who deserve no less than an open and transparent debate on this issue. To spend ever increasing sums on a project which has not even been authorised is a shocking act of bad faith, particularly at a time of such savage government spending cuts.
She continued: “The icing on the cake of Government bad faith is the news that the outcomes of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review will not be published."
"This is suppression of debate, pure and simple. One is forced to conclude that the Government is afraid of the debate and fears it will be defeated if exposed to genuine discussion and review. By suppressing the debate and spending ahead of a decision, presumably the Government wishes to create a fait accompli of replacement, but this cannot be allowed to happen," said Ms Hudson.
She concluded, " CND calls for a full and transparent strategic review of Trident and UK nuclear weapons possession and an open public debate on our security needs. This is not an issue where democratic corners can be cut.”