What price do you put on our Nuclear sovereignty ?

Before anyone makes the point that there are plenty of unilateralists in the Liberal Democrats, I'll make it quite clear, I am not one of them.

So I was amazed to hear that the Labour Government has sold out its remaining shares in the Aldermaston Nuclear Weapons establishment, the company that actually produces nuclear warheads for our independent nuclear deterrent.

So in effect, a key strand of our independence has been cut as we are now reliant on a US owned firm.

We all saw how Labour under Tony Blair tied us to the folly of the Iraq war, and now Brown perpetrates this further by making us totally reliant on an overseas company for our own nuclear defence.

1 comment:

Malcolm Redfellow said...

That's a load of tosh: and you are intelligent enough to recognise it.

I was a unilateralist by persuasion: I am one again by conviction.

As part of the March 1998 Defence review, all WE177 bombs were decommissioned. That left one delivery vehicle: the Trident submarine. Only one submarine is on patrol at any time, and the maximum armament is 16 Trident missiles. There are (again from what I read) just 58 Trident missiles held by the Navy. That's adequate to equip three submarines, with one in refit.

Let's imagine the onset of WWIII: at best the UK could put to sea three Vanguard class boats, with perhaps 48 missiles. Each missile can carry three warheads: so a maximum of 144.

Now, for the great unanswered questions:

does Britain actually control those missiles?

does 40 megatons frighten the possible enemy?

Oh, one last thought: what's news here?

AWE was effectively privatised on a 10-year contract as long ago as 2000. Or did I miss something?