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Younger generation more likely to oppose Trident

UK adults who have grown up after the Cold War are more likely than older people to oppose the use of nuclear weapons as part of a country's defence system, according to research.

Voters aged 18-35 are more likely to be against the like-for-like renewal of Trident, Britain's nuclear weapons system, than their older peers, the survey carried out by ComRes on behalf of WMD Awareness found.

The findings come just two years before the Government is due to decide whether to renew the fleet of submarines that will carry the UK's nuclear weapons.

The issue is also at the heart of the independence debate, with the possibility the weapons would be removed from Scotland if the country votes yes in September. The research, based on responses from 4,207 people across Britain, found younger voters are not engaged in this issue, with only one in 15 thinking the UK Government should prioritise spending on defence over the next 10 years. It found that 19% of people aged 18-35 believe the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity, compared to 33% of people aged 36 and older.

Hannah Cornford, ambassador lead at WMD Awareness, said: "Renewing Trident is the largest and most expensive British investment project. Yet, while support for Trident was widespread in the 1980s, our research shows that, for those born after the Cold War, spending on defence comes last on their list of government priorities."

Madeline Held, Chair of Nuclear Education Trust, said: "The Talking Trident debate is a welcome development in stimulating a much needed discussion around nuclear weapons in the UK."

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