A decision on replacing the aging Trident submarines will be taken in 2016 despite support for replacement of the outdated system by the last Labour Government and the Conservatives.
Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP however is carrying out a review of the cost effectiveness of replacing Trident and is looking into cheaper and more effective alternatives.
Local campaigner Neil Christian said, “Trident was built for the Cold War when we needed to have a nuclear deterrent at sea at all times. Those days have gone and our defence needs are different. As I go around Chester and talk to local people, they tell me they find it hard to understand why Labour and the Conservatives would want to spend £25 billion on building new submarines for an out-of-date defence system in a time of austerity. In the Cold War, we lived on the nuclear brink. That is no longer the case. Few people regard Russia as a potential nuclear aggressor. The nature of the threat to Britain has changed over the past couple of decades. We need to address how we will deal with small nations that have developed nuclear weapons such as Iran and North Korea. We need a more appropriate and effective defence against the threat of attack from such nations rather than pour billions of pounds into building a new Cold War missile system that will cost billions more to keep going.”
“Danny Alexander MP is looking into alternatives that address our defence needs and are cost effective. He will report in the summer. I am challenging Labour and the Conservatives in Chester to join with the Liberal Democrats and back a cheaper and more effective alternative to a like-for-like replacement of Trident.”