CND condemns Keir Starmer and Labour’s commitment to a “triple lock” on Britain’s nuclear weapons, as well as the decision to keep the Tory government’s pledge to spend 2.5% of our GDP on Britain’s military.

Speaking in the north-west of England today, Starmer maintains that Britain will build four new nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines to replace the current Vanguard fleet, will keep one vessel permanently at-sea and able to launch a nuclear attack, and commits Labour to upgrading the fleet throughout its lifetime. CND estimates the lifetime cost of the Dreadnought programme will be at least £205 billion.

Starmer added that Labour in power will maintain Rishi Sunak’s promise to spend 2.5% of GDP “as soon as resources allow.” During the last budget, the Conservatives said this pledge would be met by 2030 – amounting to £87 billion per year.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:

“After 14 years of Tory misrule, the Labour party has the opportunity to present a bold new security vision to the electorate. However, this policy just mirrors that of the existing government – more war, more military spending and more nuclear weapons. Patently obviously this approach is not bringing peace and prosperity in its wake. On the contrary. Billions are being wasted that should be rebuilding our decaying public services and improving people’s lives. It’s time for a change of policy. The old one has failed – we need to look to the future with a vision to work for peace internationally, improve people’s lives and make us genuinely secure, not an impoverished nuclear target.”

CND Chair Tom Unterrainer said:

“Keir Starmer is trying to make this election about security but has given no justification for how nuclear weapons ensure this. The risk of nuclear war has risen exponentially in the last two years but he offers no real account for how this has developed. For a man who claims to care about international law, there is no mention how expanding and modernising Britain’s nuclear arsenal goes against these norms. We need a bold vision for what real security means: one that puts climate, food security, and people at its heart, not more militarism and conflict.”