Following yesterday's launch of the Government's Trident Alternatives Review the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, lead bishop on defence and security issues, issued the following statement:
"The Government should be congratulated for undertaking such a far reaching and thorough review of the alternatives available to Trident and for making its analysis available to the wider public for the first time. Such transparency is vital if we are to have a more informed public debate about what our nuclear weapons are for and how they should be deployed.
The Church has consistently held that since nuclear weapons belong by virtue of their terrifying power in a different category to any other weapons' system it is important to ask what kind of security they offer us and in what circumstances, if any, their use or threat of use can be ethically justified. Sadly, the Government's review does not address these a priori questions.
In the debate that follows this Review, the Government needs to demonstrate more convincingly than it has to date how even a minimum nuclear deterrence, however that is defined, would add to the security of the UK and to the UK's ability to act effectively in the service of peace, justice and prosperity in the wider world."
General Synod debated Trident in Feb 2007. The Mission and Public Affairs, MPA, report for this debate, The Future of Trident, included as an appendix the MPA submission to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee's inquiry on this same issue. These documents can be located here.