Lobbying our MP on Trident Replacement.

Vincent Cable M.P. explains Lib Dem Policy


Four members of KPC/CND were among representatives from Twickenham & Richmond UNA who met Dr Vincent Cable, MP for Twickenham, prior to the recent parliamentary vote, to discuss the proposed replacement of Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system.


Much of the discussion centered on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which, when it came into force in 1970, required the five states already in possession of nuclear weapons to enter into negotiations "at an early date" leading to nuclear disarmament.  Yet 37 years later the British Government is committing us to a renewed system!


Dr Cable was generally sympathetic to our views and feels that the renewal of the British Nuclear weapons system undermines the spirit of the NPT, particularly at this time when the international community is trying to influence Iran against acquiring its own weapon.  LibDem policy is to delay a decision until about 2014.  There is no need start the replacement process yet and the decision is being rushed through because of short-term political considerations and pressure from BAe.  To delay shows to the world a commitment to the principles of the NPT and Dr Cable believes that the UK should take a lead in pushing forward the disarmament process by convening a meeting of the Nuclear Weapons States and actively pursuing multilateral negotiations leading to the elimination of all nuclear arsenals.


The 59% of the British public who oppose the replacement of Trident (ICM poll July 2006) can take some encouragement from the fact that even though Parliament has since voted in favour of Trident replacement, the government saw the largest rebellion on a domestic issue since it came to power in 1997.  Also, the main submarine construction will not start for at least five years so it is still worth campaigning to reverse this disastrous decision.


Hilary Evans