by Iain Donaldson on 19 July, 2016
I have often described the current Lib Dem policy on Trident as confused. The Party effectively supports “a part time submarine on a zero-hours contract” and I have said that this is to all intents and purposes an abolition policy on Trident. In last night’s debate on the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent my argument was vindicated.
Parliament commissioned a strategic defence and security review. The review identified the four main threats to the UK as being terrorism, the resurgence of state-based threats, the impact of technology and the erosion of the rules-based international order. Trident replacement will use 6% of our defence budget yet only partially addresses one of the four threats.
The proposed Trident replacement will cost at least £31 Billion. The MOD has set aside a further £10 Billion. Even the MOD does not believe the figures it is quoting. They still don’t even know who will manage the system.
Despite stating unilateralism “would not give us any leverage in non-proliferation discussions.”, last night the Liberal Democrats voted not to renew Trident.
Liberal Democrats need to learn from history. You are remembered not for what you say, but for how you vote. Weasel words designed to keep two factions together apeases neither. The fancy words of educated fools will be laid bare by common sense.
The Party may argue that they were asked the wrong question, but they will be judged on the answer they gave.
Politics is about lines in the sand. Liberal Democrats last night voted as a party of Unilateral Disarmament. It is time that policy came down firmly in line with the voting record and ended any obfuscation.
Like it or not the Lib Dems are now a party of unilateral disarmament.