Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Trident Debate

Saturday Morning of the Spring Conference brought the much discussed debate on Trident.

The current Trident System has 20 years life left in it and the decision as to whether we replace Trident is not needed until 2014. In 2010 there is the next round of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Talks. Tony Blair’s New Labour party want to take the decision to replace Trident now.

This has been an emotive issue within the party and the debate was well argued from all sides. Now I am no great fan of Nuclear Weapons and though I was willing to be persuaded to vote against the motion by the debate, in the end I voted along with the majority of delegates in favour of the motion as I felt it was the best policy for the situation we are in now!

My three core reasons for supporting this motion are;

1/ We would cut our weapons by 50% now, demonstrating our commitment to the non-proliferation treaty.

2/ It keeps us at the negotiation table in the 2010 talks, which presents our best chance to be able to influence the outcome.

3/ Allows us to make the decision when it needs to be made in 2014.

It is important to note that Liberal Democrat MP's will vote against Labours position of replacing Trident Now! Doing so just so it can be part of Blair’s Legacy is a poor excuse in my book.

The fact that we can debate these issues openly in conference is one of the things that marks us out as being different than the other parties, where in recent years open debate has been discouraged.

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