Trident should be consigned to history

Trident is a redundant technology that should not be replaced via The Guardian

Parliament will vote on Monday on whether or not to replace Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system. To vote in favour will see Britain as a nuclear armed state into the 2060s and beyond. The total lifetime cost will be up to £205bn. We urge all MPs to consider whether continued possession of these weapons of mass destruction is the best use of national resources. They meet none of our key security challenges and are themselves vulnerable to new technological threats. This government’s national security strategy has identified terrorism, climate change, pandemics and cyber warfare as the tier-one threats we face today. Not only does Trident have nothing to offer in countering those threats, it sucks vast amounts of money away from dealing with them. Expert evidence indicates that the huge submarines that carry the nuclear weapons can be rendered redundant by cyber-attack and detected and targeted via new underwater drone technology.

These weapons hail from a bygone age. Senior figures from the armed forces describe them as militarily useless. Addressing 21st-century security challenges requires a rational and practical approach, not one based on misplaced notions that having Trident makes us a great power and enables us “to punch above our weight”. Spending vast amounts on redundant technology to retain a cold war totem make us look antiquated and out of touch with the reality of the world today. We urge MPs to vote against Trident replacement.
Caroline Lucas Chair, Parliamentary CND 
Diane Abbott Shadow health secretary 
Leanne Wood Plaid Cymru leader 
Nicola Sturgeon First minister of Scotland 
Mark Serwotka PCS union general secretary 
Major General Patrick Cordingley

 

I was deeply concerned to read about the appalling housing in which service personnel and their families are being forced to live (Housing for UK military families appalling, MPs say in scathing report, theguardian.com, 13 July). Nobody should have to raise their children in accommodation infested by fleas, or without heating or hot water – and yet these are the conditions faced by many military families in the homes provided by the Ministry of Defence.

These revelations are particularly shocking given plans to spend an estimated £205bn on replacing Trident, the UK’s risky and strategically irrelevant nuclear weapons system. The government plans to go ahead without any post-Brexit security reassessment and despite warnings from senior military figures that this will be detrimental to our security and make it difficult to meet the UK’s non-nuclear defence needs. In this context it is even more appalling to hear that the MoD is still failing to meet the most basic needs of its service personnel and their families. Trident must be scrapped and its replacement cancelled. Britain should work with other UN nations to ban all nuclear weapons, and invest instead in good housing and conditions for our services and resources to provide for our collective security, including the best possible homes, health and education services for everyone.
Dr Rebecca Johnson
Green party spokesperson for security, peace and defence

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