Defence and Trident
We should scrap the Trident system and not replace it. I can see not credible scenario where we would ever be able to use nuclear weapons in a defensive role.
Both the USA and Russia have large enough nuclear arsenals to destroy all life on the planet several times over. Most other EU states do not have, or feel the need of, an independent nuclear capability and our own small compliment of warheads is simply a token gesture maintained by governments through the mistaken belief that Britain is still a super-power.
I concede that certain potentially rogue states may already have, or may develop nuclear arms, so we may need to retain some sort of credible collective deterrent. But this should be more along the lines of a small nuclear capability shared amongst NATO states to prevent us being held to ransom should we be threatened with a nuclear strike in the future.
But Britain should be leading the way on global multilateral nuclear disarmament and showing the world that we care more about protecting life than destroying it.
We should not be wasting hundreds of billions of pounds on missiles that we can never realistically use. That money would be better spent on saving lives through increased funding for our NHS and social care services. We should also be equipping our armed forces with the best state of the art conventional weapons and maintaining personnel numbers. If we are going to put our people in harm’s way, we must ensure they have the best means available to defend themselves and our country. A fraction of the £120Bn that a replacement for Trident would cost us during it’s lifetime would be better used to ensure our conventional forces are well trained, resourced and maintained.
Our forces should be used principally to provide the UK with a strong conventional deterrent to any aggressors, but should also be able to perform peace-keeping duties in UN missions. Whilst it may be necessary to involve ourselves in military interventions to save lives and protect UK interests abroad, we should not be involving ourselves in international conflicts unless there is a strong demonstrable reason for us to do so. Andy such short term action should be subject to a full vote of the House Of Commons, kept under regular review, and include clear aims and objectives along with a well defined exit strategy.
I think we should continue to be a member of NATO for the time being. Although this should be subject to regular review.
I also think the UK should be working with other nations towards a multilateral ban on all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear biological and chemical weapons.