Trident is the UK’s nuclear weapon security system, it comprises several nuclear warheads and costs the UK taxpayer millions of pounds a year. The UK’s possession of nuclear weapons has caused much debate amongst political parties in recent years. This article intends to explain what trident is and highlight some of the key arguments in favour of its renewal, and the arguments in favour of disposing of it; either through scaling it back or completely removing the UK’s nuclear weapons. Each submarine, of which there are five, carries around sixteen missiles which can target twelve countries. The destructive capability of Trident is said to be around eight times larger than the blast that destroyed Hiroshima.
Those in favour of renewing Trident, say that is impossible to live our current age without some form of nuclear deterrent, given that potential threats can come from anywhere and may develop at a rapid pace. Nuclear armaments allow us to counter rogue states or terrorist organisations. It is also argued that not renewing Trident would diminish the UK’s presence on a global scale, as it is a potential bargaining chip.
The campaign for nuclear disarmament has said that Trident is illegal in the majority of circumstances in which it might be considered for usage. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, frequently highlighted when questioned on trident, how abhorrent she found the concept of nuclear weapons and that her party was opposed to renewal. The Green party have taken a similar stance to nuclear weapons and Trident. Other leaders such as Nigel Farage of UKIP, have said they oppose the concept of nuclear weapons but that in light of threats such as ISIS we need some form of nuclear deterrent.