CND comments on Trident budget news

By agency reporter
December 20, 2017

Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded to suggestions that the cost of the Trident nuclear weapons system could be transferred from the Ministry of Defence to central government. The government's national security adviser Mark Sedwill revealed that the government was considering the possibility when being questioned by the parliamentary national security strategy committee.

A number of Conservative MPs, including Johnny Mercer – a former Army officer and a member of the Defence Select Committee – have been campaigning for the change.

Commenting on these reports, Dave Webb, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), said, "This is an extraordinary development if the government goes ahead. Where precisely will £205 billion or more, the full cost of Trident replacement, be found outside of the MoD budget? The government has repeatedly said it hasn't got billions laying about so, for lack of a magic money tree, this can mean only one thing. Further cuts to schools, hospitals or other areas of social spending.

"There are growing numbers of MPs concerned about the impact of Trident spending on conventional weaponry and defence. The leaks on HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier, could well be an example of the sort of corner cutting the MoD is charged with. But the answer to this is not to shift the responsibility for Trident spending elsewhere. The credible answer is that it's time to face the reality about Trident: it's outdated, expensive, leaves us vulnerable, and doesn't address the major 21st century security threats. It's time to cancel Trident."

* CND http://www.cnduk.org/

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