The Trident Successor Programme: an update - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 26 June 2014 | Standard notes SN06526

Amended 04 July 2014

Authors: Claire Mills, Louisa Brooke-Holland

Topic: Arms control, Defence equipment and procurement, Defence policy

The programme to replace the UK’s nuclear deterrent from 2028 onwards continues apace. In December 2012 the Government published its first update report to Parliament on the progress of the Trident renewal programme and in July 2013 published the Trident Alternatives Review. That review was commissioned in 2011 in order to assist the Liberal Democrats in making a case for potential alternatives to the like-for-like replacement of Trident, as stipulated in the 2010 Coalition Agreement. A further update to Parliament was published in December 2013.

This note briefly examines the progress that has been made since Initial Gate on the programme was passed in May 2011, including the contracts that have been placed to date and the estimated costs of the replacement programme. It also looks at wider issues such as the Trident Alternatives Review and the potential impact of the Scottish referendum on independence which is expected in September 2014.

An accompanying Library Note provides a Suggested Reading List, SN04207.

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