Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

British Nuclear-Arms Revamp Seen Losing Labor Party Support British Nuclear-Arms Revamp Seen Losing Labor Party Support

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

British Nuclear-Arms Revamp Seen Losing Labor Party Support

Plans to replace the British submarine-based nuclear deterrent could be losing favor among rank-and-file Labor Party lawmakers, the Guardian reports.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond reportedly called on defense ministers to seek increased union pressure on Labor legislators to support the potential replacement of all four Vanguard-class submarines that carry Trident ballistic missiles, the newspaper reported on Sunday. The "like-for-like" modernization plan has faced resistance from the Liberal Democrats, which led an exploration of alternatives as the junior member in a coalition government headed by Hammond's Conservative Party.

 

"The [Conservatives] don't want Labor having a wobble on this," one government insider told the Guardian.

A Labor spokesman said the party remains an advocate of full Trident modernization.

Hammond, though, pressed for ship-construction unions to inform Labor politicians of their backing for the renewal plan after he received indications that certain party members were seeking a more impartial position.

 

The defense secretary recommended seeking a strong stance in favor of full replacement from Keep our Future Afloat, a group tied to a key Labor Party financial supporter. A final decision on moving forward with modernization is expected after the 2015 general election.

A Conservative insider said: "We are confident that Labor is committed to replacing the deterrent ... unlike the Liberal Democrats who want some part-time deterrent with dummy missiles, providing Britain with no security."

One-time Labor Party Defense Secretary Des Browne, though, said the modernization plan faces growing doubts from "from all parties and in both houses" of Parliament.

"In an age of austerity where public spending is reducing, they are much more skeptical," Browne said. "If anything, I am surprised that it has taken ministers until now to wake up to this change. Fewer politicians accept the arguments for continuous at-sea deterrence without question than ever did before."

 

This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Keeps me informed about national leadership concerns."

Senior Military Officer

The best!"

Mark, Compensation Analyst

Timely and informative."

Dave, HR specialist

I can browse over breakfast or while on the metro."

AJ, US Army Officer

Sign up form for the newsletter
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL
 
 
 
 
Make your Election Night headquarters.
See more ▲
 
Hide