Trident – a colossal, unaffordable, unnecessary white elephant

Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA has criticised the Trident Nuclear programme, calling it a colossal, unaffordable, unnecessary white elephant.

Steven Agnew MLA said,

“The Trident programme is a Cold War relic that is unsuited to addressing modern day security threats. The Government’s own National Security Strategy identifies international terrorism, cyber-attacks and natural hazards as greater threats than nuclear war.

“Not only am I fundamentally opposed to Trident, I am appalled that the Tory government feels able to squander £167bn on nuclear weapons when they are imposing austerity.

“In addition, it is ridiculous and arrogant of DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson to offer for Trident to be homed in Northern Ireland without public consultation or debate.”

Steven Agnew MLA was speaking in advance of a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly on Trident.

“The Northern Ireland pro-rata share for Trident is £4.84 billion. This is around £200m per year over the lifespan of Trident. To have this money spent locally would make a huge difference to tackling waiting lists in our health service.

“I do not believe that Trident is an ‘operationally independent’ British nuclear deterrent. British Trident missiles are designed, maintained and largely manufactured by the US. They are guided using American GPS systems.

“Therefore, to suggest that a British Prime Minister could launch Trident without US endorsement is a fallacy.

“It is time to call a halt to Trident. This colossal white elephant is unaffordable and unnecessary.”


The following motion is being proposed in the Northern Ireland Assembly on 24 November 2015.

Motion: Replacement of the Trident Nuclear Weapons Programme

That this Assembly notes with concern the analysis by the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Westminster that suggests that the cost to replace the Trident nuclear weapons programme has risen to £167 billion; believes that it is indefensible for the British Government to commit billions of pounds of public money to nuclear weapons, particularly when individuals and families both locally and across Britain are experiencing the consequences of austerity measures; and calls on the British Government to cancel its plans for the renewal of Trident.

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