Cross-party challenge to Trident renewal

Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru MPs issue joint call for defence review to include Trident

MPs from the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party have tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech which would put the future of the UK’s nuclear arsenal in the balance.

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP, together with MPs from the two nationalist parties, have called on Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs to support the amendment, under which the £100 billion Trident renewal would be included in the forthcoming strategic defence and security review. Current government plans are to exclude the Trident renewal from the review.

The parties hope to gain further support from the ranks of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives before pushing the amendment to a vote this evening (Monday 7 June). In the coalition agreement for government the Liberal Democrats claimed that they “will continue to make the case for alternatives” to Trident.

Greens: Trident is “costly distraction from real threats like climate change”

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP said today, “As we begin a new parliament with a new government, the time has come to rise above party politics and fundamentally challenge the decision to renew Trident.

“We cannot continue to lecture countries such as Iran on the implications of their nuclear programme whilst proceeding blindly with our own – a move which would be both hypocritical and dangerous.

“Moreover, nuclear weapons remain a costly distraction from the real security threats we face, like climate change. The billions being spent on Trident replacement could be much better spent on investing in developing the infrastructure we need for a zero carbon economy, as well as in protecting public services.

“To use the money on a project that will make Britain and the world a far more dangerous place is politically irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and economically obscene.”

Notes

1. The amendment, which will appear on Monday mornings order paper, reads: As an Amendment to the Address, at end add – “but respectfully request that the Government include as part of its Strategic Defence and Security Review a full examination of the Trident nuclear missile system, and any possible replacement.”

2. The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Programme for Government document states, at page 15:
“We will maintain Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives.”

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