the true cost of britain's nuclear weapons

October First 2006 will see the beginning of an audacious civil resistance initiative to apply critical public pressure for the disarmament of Britain's nuclear weapons.
Building on the success of previous mass blockades of the Trident nuclear base at Faslane, there will be a year-long continuous peaceful blockade at Faslane in Scotland. To make this happen, groups and organisations from Scotland, England and Wales, and beyond are being invited to come and shut down the base for at least one two-day period each during the year.
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Block the Builders is a new campaign which aims to nonviolently prevent the building of a new laser facility at AWE Aldermaston. Various ongoing activity.
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The true cost of replacing and operating the Trident nuclear missile system would be at least £76bn, according to new estimates. Based on official figures, they take into account the initial cost of acquiring new Trident missiles and replacing Britain's existing nuclear submarines, and the annual running costs of maintaining the system and nuclear warheads over its lifetime.

Previous estimates have put the cost of replacing Trident at between £15bn and £25bn, but these do not take into account the annual maintenance costs.
Des Browne, the defence secretary, told the Commons that the annual expenditure for capital and running costs of Trident would amount to up to 5.5% of the defence budget in the current financial year.

Nick Harvey, the Lib Dems' defence spokesman said: ‘They demonstrate the duty of the government to facilitate a genuine debate on our nuclear deterrent prior to any decision on replacement. The government's ludicrous position that the decision should precede the debate is irresponsible and undermines the democratic process.’
A new website, bigtridentdebate, promoted by CND and others has been set up, calling for a ‘full and informed’ debate about the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent.
Bizarrely the government has said it will publish a white paper this year, once it has made a decision. It will be followed by a debate and vote in parliament. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown favour the UK keeping nuclear arms.

Whether or not you think that there is a debate to be had, why not write to your MP telling them what you think and perhaps asking them what they would most like such an amount of money spent on.

You can easily contact your MP here.


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