House of Lords debate calls into question the need for continuous at sea deterrence (CASD)

On 24th January 2013 a House of Lords debate took place on prospects for multilateral nuclear disarmament and Britain’s role. The debate, secured by Lord Ramsbotham and Lord Hannay, discussed the Trident programme and whether like-for-like renewal was the best option.

TLG Convenor Lord Browne of Ladyton argued that the reliance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent was a ‘decreasingly effective and increasingly risky’ defence strategy. Baroness Warsi noted the significant challenges for disarmament, especially in the risk of proliferation from North Korea and Iran. Britain, she argued, has shown ‘considerable leadership’ in reducing the number of nuclear weapons but only by building trust between states would multilateral disarmament be possible.

Lord Ramsbotham opening the debate in the House of Lords

Lord Ramsbotham, HoL

Tom King, former Conservative defence secretary, also questioned whether a like-for-like replacement for Trident was needed, affordable and best suited to deal with 21st century security threats.

Lord Ramsbotham concluded the debate by stating that all issues surrounding nuclear disarmament should be addressed, and was particularly glad the continuous at sea deterrence policy was called into question for its cost and efficacy.

To read the full debate, please click here.

You can also watch the debate here.

You also find information on the media coverage of the debate here.