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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Monday, 5 March 2012

Scrapping Trident 'premature'


Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has said that any proposal for nuclear disarmament in the UK is "premature and unnecessary".

Sir Menzies, who chairs a cross-party commission on the future of Britain's nuclear policy, was responding to a report from the liberal policy think-tank Centre Forum, which urges the government to scrap its Trident nuclear weapons programme.

Toby Fenwick, of the Centre Forum, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that the key point is that while £74bn of defence cuts have been made with another £3-5m due to be made before Easter, Trident "sails on" at a cost of £25bn for the replacement submarines alone.

Mr Fenwick said they are arguing that Trident should be scrapped immediately with existing submarines converted to use conventional cruise missiles.

"It's not just about saving money," he said, "but finding the most appropriate use of that £25bn".

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