UK Minister: “The possibility that a major direct nuclear threat to the UK might re-emerge”
News from Celtic league
The UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment has written in response to a letter sent to him by the General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League ahead of a UK Parliamentary debate on 20th January 2015 on the future of Trident.
In his letter GS, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, asked the views of George Eustice MP about Trident and how he was planning on voting. In his letter Mr Eustice makes the point:
“Given the range of potential nuclear threats the UK could face over the coming years and decades, I believe that maintaining our continuous deterrent is a national security imperative.”
Mr Eustice’s full response is set out below.
“Thank you for contacting me about Trident.
While I appreciate your concern with this issue, I believe it is absolutely vital that we maintain a continuous independent nuclear deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our national security. The Government, and its predecessors, have consistently set out the case for maintaining our nuclear deterrent: that although no state currently has both the intent and the capability to threaten the independence and integrity of the UK, we do not know how the international environment will change in the future. We cannot dismiss the possibility that a major direct nuclear threat to the UK might re-emerge.
Despite successes over recent decades in limiting the number of states with nuclear capabilities, we cannot rule out a major shift in the international security situation which would put us under grave threat. That is why the Government believes it would not be right unilaterally to give up this capability.
I fully support this position. Given the range of potential nuclear threats the UK could face over the coming years and decades, I believe that maintaining our continuous deterrent is a national security imperative.
As was set out in the Coalition Programme for Government and subsequently in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Government’s policy is to maintain a continuous submarine-based deterrent and to proceed with the renewal of Trident and the submarine replacement programme. Work on that programme has already begun, although final decisions on the number of replacement submarines to be ordered and the final design will be taken in 2016 at what is known as the ‘Main Gate’ checkpoint of the acquisition programme.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.”
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.