Steel backs Huhne over Trident

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I’m in the middle of writing a long post about Nick Clegg’s big speech this week, but this announcement is worth breaking off to mention:

“Having enjoyed a talk with both candidates there is also one policy matter which motivates my choice. The current party policy on Trident replacement is that we don’t need to make a decision yet. While that is technically correct, it is hardly a convincing stance to put before the electorate.

“With the end of the cold war, with our armed forces requiring better equipment in the fight against terrorism, and with service families seeking improved housing, it is (as former defence chief Lord Brammall argued in a House of Lords debate) unsustainable to commit billions of pounds on a new generation of so called independent nuclear deterrent. Chris Huhne will be bolder on that issue.”

This is surely correct. What is mystifying is why Clegg does not agree. What was all that stuff about breaking free of our comfort zone last week? This policy represents possibly our greatest act of fence sitting in recent times. If Clegg is so anti comfort zones, does this mean he has come out in favour of Trident? We need a statement on this.

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