Yesterday (April 1, 2020), three former UK Royal Navy Commanders sent a letter to all UK members of parliament questioning the policy of maintaining a continuous at sea nuclear deterrent.
The commanders note that the £2 billion a year cost of maintaining this nuclear posture and readiness for war appear to be unjustifiable, especially as the economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic are mounting and while there appears no threat of a ‘bolt from the blue’ nuclear attack against the UK, for which the policy is intended to counter.
In addition, the letter questions the decision by parliament to invest even more substantial resources in building new nuclear warheads and the submarines to carry them.
“It is completely unacceptable that the UK continues to spend billions of pounds on deploying and modernising the Trident Nuclear Weapon System when faced with the threats to health, climate change and world economies that Coronavirus poses,” said Commander Robert Forsyth RN (Ret’d), a former nuclear submariner, signatory to the letter and supporter of the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign.
The letter, which was endorsed by a number of parliamentarians, academics and peace campaigners, was sent by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation to all members of the UK House of Commons, UK House of Lords, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, and Northern Ireland Assembly.