National debate on the replacement of Trident (UK 2006)

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The prospect of a national debate on the replacement of Trident, the UK's nuclear missile programme, was floated by foreign secretary Margaret Beckett at the end of October 2006.[1] Initiating a tightly controlled public 'debate' on a controversial policy issue is a favourite tactic of Tony Blair's government: previous examples include the 'national debate' on GM food in 2003, and the 'national debate' on nuclear power held from 2005-2006. However with this debate, senior ministers have actually admitted (off the record) that the debate would not be entirely free to run its own course, according to The Guardian:[2]

"Cabinet members admitted yesterday that the debate would have to be carefully managed to avoid deep fissures opening up inside the party at the time of leadership and deputy leadership elections."

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