'UK must maintain submarine Trident'
Iran Press TV
Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:17PM
The UK must renew its submarine-borne Trident nuclear weapons system if it is to maintain its "outsized" role in the world affairs, said US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
He went on stating that the deterrent allowed Britain to 'continue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing.'
Carter said the submarine fleet helped the 'special relationship' Britain enjoyed with the United States.
The statements come as a decision on replacing the ageing fleet of four submarines which carry nuclear warheads is due to be made this year. While Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to renewal, the issue has caused deep divisions in the opposition Labour Party.
The Conservative government has said replacing the submarines will cost 31 billion pounds while media reports put the overall cost of renewing and maintaining a successor to Trident at more than 167 billion pounds over 32 years.
'It's important that the military power matches that standing and so we're very supportive of it. We depend upon the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom depends on us, that's part of the special relationship,' the US official added.
While most lawmakers in Cameron's party support keeping nuclear weapons, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supports unilateral disarmament and is holding a review of the party's policy.
That has led to deep divisions among its lawmakers and earlier this week Labour's home affairs spokesman Andy Burnham said it might be impossible for the party to agree a position.
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