by Stephen Tall on June 15, 2007
Lib Dems, SNP and the Greens united at Holyrood last night united in rejecting Labour and Tory plans to replace Trident at a cost of £20 billion.
The Lib Dems successfully amended the original Green motion to state that Trident should not be replaced “at this time” to allow for the system’s use in future multilateral disarmament talks (and in line with party policy). They also pointed out that defence matters aren’t devolved, so the vote won’t make a blind bit of difference.
Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles argued:
We believe that the key to a safer world is to make real progress on multilateral nuclear disarmament. We must be willing to take part in the disarmament process and we want the UK Government to press for a nuclear weapons convention to formalise all the nuclear states’ commitment to disarmament.
It is entirely wrong for the UK to commit to renew our so-called independent nuclear deterrent when there is no need or justification for doing so. …
It is clear to us that no effective case has been made for a successor to Trident. In any case, it must be right that the proper place in which to decide whether to replace Trident is the UK Parliament. … The Liberal Democrat party is a federal party. We believe that domestic decisions for Scotland are best made here in the Scottish Parliament. However, although it is entirely appropriate for the Parliament to take a view to feed into the decision-making process, actual decisions on the defence of the realm are clearly and correctly the preserve of the UK Parliament.
The Liberal Democrats want real nuclear disarmament to make the world a safer place. The way to do that is to engage with others on multilateral nuclear disarmament.
Iraq, education, Freedom of Information, Trident… is there any difference these days between the Brown/Blair Labour Party and Cameron’s Tories? In which case, how long before a German-style ‘grand coalition’ of left and right is seriously debated?