Opinion: Cameron’s Gaffe – is China a nuclear threat to the UK?

During the big debate, David Cameron slipped up when pushed by Nick Clegg on the Trident nuclear missile fleet.

I will keep our independent nuclear defence system, said Cameron – forgetting for a moment that Trident is a dual-key with the Americans, it can’t ever be fired without their agreement, and we are totally beholden to them, despite spending the money with them in the first place. But Cameron added:

Are we really happy to say that we’d give up our independent nuclear deterrent when we don’t know what is going to happen with Iran, we can’t be certain of the future in China?

Iran … and China … suggesting that China is part of a potential threat against world-peace!

Iran doesn’t have any nuclear missiles, and nobody is getting on a plane to go and talk to them to sort it, and China sits alongside us in the Security Council. When has anyone ever suggested that China is such a threat to the UK that we have to spend £100
billion we dont have on an uprated new system? (Leaving to one side the unknown costs of decomissioning the redudundant submarines?)

Nor did Cameron say how, with a £170 billion pound black hole in the accounts, the UK can afford to pay for it: where will the money come from? This was a gaffe from Cameron, one which showed his unfitness to lead.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Op-eds.


  • Well I know which one I’d feel more threatened by!

  • Anthony Aloysius St 16th Apr '10 - 4:56pm

    “Trident is a dual-key with the Americans, it can’t ever be fired without their agreement, and we are totally beholden to them”

    I’m not in favour of replacing Trident, but this is simply factually incorrect. Dual-key nuclear weapons went out about 20 years ago.

  • hi both party want spent aot of money for nuclear defence system. for what they can not use it at all and also say to every country not have it and not go for it lik IRAN it is sound stupid to me whom with this idea want to be leader ??? better them 2 lead alqeida not UK

  • David Shingles 17th Apr '10 - 8:52am

    For the first time in my votable adult life, i would like to give my vote to the lib dems. However i am unsure whether you plan to scrap “trident” or meerly just not upgrade it. I firmly believe we must remain a nuclear power at this time. A policy of scrappage would have to send my vote cammerons way..

  • stephen towson 17th Apr '10 - 2:14pm

    Even if we scrapped the trident missiles would it really endanger the UK. If Iran nuked us we’d have far bigger problems than revenge. Plus as part of NATO and the EU our allies would, hopeful respond to the threat anyway. France, America and Russia all have nukes and would not stand by as Iran nuked us, the threat to global security would be too great. We don’t need nukes.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 17th Apr '10 - 3:00pm

    If we scrapped nuclear weapons, we should be defenceless – in much the same way that countries like Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others too numerous to mention are defenceless.

    Do the proponents of replacing Trident argue that all these countries should have their own nuclear weapons?

  • Trident isn’t dual key. in the medium term the US could withdraw support for it but in the short term the UK can use it independently

  • Fred Risling 18th Apr '10 - 9:05pm

    I’d say the Tory position on China is one of lunatic paranoia.

    Check out this poster on Conservative Home: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/.a/6a00d83451b31c69e201347ff3b143970c-500wi

    I think this proves the point.

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