Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Book review by Brian Stiltner.

Wicker, Brian and Hugh Beach, eds. Britain's Bomb: What Next? London: SCM Press, 2006.

ISBN 9780334040965

By the time this review is published, Tony Blair will no longer be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He pushed for a decision to be taken by the next general election: he wanted the UK to commit to replacing the current Trident system (a stock of 58 missiles and under 200 warheads, some of these housed on four nuclear submarines) with a new generation of nuclear weapons and submarines. The British Trident submarines are scheduled for retirement between 2019 and 2024, and the warheads have a limited lifespan as well. Although options existed for extending the current system up to 2051, the House of Commons voted in March 2007 by a strong margin to spend at least £20 billion to replace Trident. However, 88 Labour MPs defected from the vote, which was characterised as a strong blow to Blair’s leadership.


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