As the debate around renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent program continues, the UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne MP, has spoken out in support of the UK continuing to maintain its Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD) with the planned new generation of ballistic missile submarines.
Mr Dunne, who had previously served as Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology and on the Treasury select committee and is a Conservative MP for Ludlow, said in the statement, posted to his blog, that:
“We all desire a world free from nuclear weapons. But unilateral disarmament does not mean a safer world. Yet despite our honourable intentions, a resurgent Russia repeatedly rattles its nuclear sabre while North Korea already this year exploded a bomb and fired a ballistic missile…Disarming now would be a reckless gamble with our national security that would play into the hands of our enemies.”
Mr Dunne then went on to address the issue of cost in the program, saying:
Building four new submarines will come to around £31 billion. Yes, it’s a large sum of money.
“…but spread over 35 years and accounting for less than 0.2 per cent per year of total Government spending, I believe is an insurance premium worth paying.”
The post was made in response to the statements by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP that the Trident program should be scrapped. Today, Mr Corbyn will attend an anti-Trident rally in London along with representatives from Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party.
Earlier this year, Mr Corbyn made headlines with the unusual statement that the UK should continue to operate Trident submarines, but without nuclear weapons.
The Trident program currently consists of four Vanguard-class Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) based out of Her Majesty’s Naval Base on the Clyde, of which one is on patrol somewhere in the world at all times, equipped with the Trident II Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) to react to any threat to British soil immediately. The boats are approaching the end of their service lives and will require a replacement to continue providing deterrent.
More information on Trident renewal can be found in the following article: