In the midst of the worst political and economic crisis in living memory, Theresa May insists it is imperative to renew the Trident submarine system.
Latest estimates put the overall cost at £205 billion, including the submarines, warheads, maintenance, infrastructure, personnel and decommissioning.
Since the components of this US system must be paid for in dollars, and the pound is at a 30-year low, that cost will definitely increase.
This is at a time when we are being told to expect even more austerity and our hospitals, schools and prisons are in crisis due to lack of funds. As a result of the referendum, Hastings could lose £9 million of EU funding, so further cuts will hit this town hard.
The government’s own analysis of the greatest threats to our security lists climate change, cyber attacks, and pandemics – not Russia or North Korea – and nuclear weapons are irrelevant to all of these.
Not only is it insane to be committing such sums to an obsolete relic of the Cold War that is vulnerable to sophisticated hacking methods and detection from new underwater drone technology, but there is already a process at the United Nations, initiated by 127 nuclear-free nations, to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
This ban treaty will no doubt be ignored by the nuclear-armed states; they have boycotted three conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons plus the recent UN Open Ended Working Group in Geneva – despite the UK’s claim to be in favour of multilateral nuclear disarmament. However, the existence of a ban will stigmatise the possession of nuclear weapons and those that persist in retaining them will be regarded as pariah states by the rest of the world.
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