Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has said that the United Kingdom needs a “responsible and balanced” approach towards its defence capabilities.
It comes after a defence and security chiefs called for all parties to commit to a renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Sir Menzies Campbell said:
“In these uncertain times, Britain needs a responsible and balanced approach towards its defence capability and nuclear deterrent. It is a statement of the obvious that the geopolitical climate has moved on from the cold war but we face extensive instability in the Middle East and Russian expansionism and provocation on the fringes of Europe.
“Notwithstanding these uncertainties, we can still take further steps down the nuclear ladder. It is worth remembering that in the last 25 years, the United Kingdom has abandoned nuclear artillery shells, nuclear depth charges, free fall bombs with nuclear warheads and made substantial reductions in the number of warheads carried on its nuclear armed submarines.
“Limiting ourselves to three submarines when replacing the current fleet of four Trident armed submarines and moving away from continuous at sea deterrence, while always maintaining the capacity to surge to armed patrols if necessary would help us to fulfil our commitments to the nuclear non proliferation treaty, and make a significant contribution to multilateral nuclear disarmament, all without risk to the security of our nation.
“This is the responsible and balanced approach to which the Liberal Democrats are committed.”