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Clive Sneddon backs Sir Menzies Campbell's constructive proposals on Trident replacement

January 17, 2007 8:08 AM

Dundee East Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Dr Clive Sneddon has today (Wednesday 17th January) given his support to the proposals from Sir Menzies Campbell on the way forward for Britain's nuclear deterrent.

These proposals have the support of the Liberal Democrats' Policy Committee, but require the approval of the Party's Harrogate conference in spring to become party policy.

Clive said, "The recent escalation of the war in Iraq by George Bush, and the accompanying newspaper reports of a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations, sets the scene for the public debate we need on the future of Trident.

"Our first priority as Liberal Democrats must be to relaunch serious international negotiation on implementing the existing nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to which the UK is already a signatory. Hence Ming's proposal to cut our nuclear warheads by 50% in order to kick-start further negotiations towards achieving a nuclear-free world.

"Meantime, the risk of a long-term nuclear threat to the UK from rogue states or from new conflicts over declining resources resulting from global warming means that it is too soon to take final decisions on the future of Trident, especially since the Americans are not yet taking their own decisions, and technically there is no need for a decision before 2014, when the option of Britain scrapping its nuclear deterrent could again be considered.

Clive concluded, "The most effective way forward is to promote peace by agreeing an equitable solution to cut carbon emissions through Contraction and Convergence, as already supported by many Third World governments, by agreeing a fair trade round through the Dohar talks, and by reducing the over-provision of nuclear weapons through full nuclear disarmament talks and implementing the existing treaties.

"Dundee Liberal Democrats support all these constructive proposals, which can be implemented now and would create a new context for reviewing Trident in 2014."

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