For immediate release: 3 August 2006
An ICM poll commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament shows that 59% of British people oppose the replacement of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system.(1) (2) The poll results demonstrate a 5% increase in public opposition to Trident replacement over an identically phrased question from a MORI/Greenpeace poll from September 2005.(3)
Strong public opposition to Trident replacement is also apparent from CND’s ˜No Trident Replacement” petition, which will be handed in to the Prime Minister on Friday 4th August at 11am. CND members throughout the UK have collected over 50,000 signatures calling on the government not to replace Trident or develop any new nuclear weapons system. The petition will be handed in by Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, together with Air Commodore Alistair Mackie, Canon Paul Ostreicher, and newly elected Labour NEC member Walter Wolfgang.
Public opposition to Trident Replacement has been steadily increasing despite government attempts to portray it as necessary to Britain’s future security.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “The ICM poll and the No Trident Replacement petition prove that ordinary people see through the government’s case. People are increasingly seeing the reality of the situation that replacing Trident will start a new nuclear arms race. If Britain insists that it needs nuclear weapons to ensure its security, other countries will conclude the same, leading to increased proliferation.”
The poll and petition hand-in coincide with the 61st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed over 140,000 people. Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system currently consists of approximately 200 nuclear bombs, each of which are 8 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
There will be a photo opportunity for the press immediately before the petition hand in at 10.45am on Friday 4th August, opposite Downing Street on Whitehall, when Theatre of War performs a brief tableau. Individuals dressed as teachers, medical staff and firemen will carry a Trident missile dragged along by Tony Blair.
Notes to Editor:
1. 957 people were asked the following question by MORI on behalf of Greenpeace on 16th September 2005 and 1036 people were asked exactly the same question by ICM on behalf of CND on 26th/27th July 2006:
The UK’s ‘Trident’ nuclear weapons are now ageing and will become unusable in about 20 years’ time. This means that, for the UK to maintain effective nuclear weaponry, the government needs to decide soon on whether to develop a replacement. The total cost of replacing ‘Trident’ missiles, submarines and base facilities is likely to be around £25 billion.
This is the equivalent of building around 1,000 new schools at current prices. On balance, do you think the UK should replace its nuclear weapons, or not?
2. ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1036 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 26-27
July 2006. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
3. For a full copy of the poll results, please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 700 2350 or 07968 420 859, or firstname.lastname@example.org
5. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
6. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere. www.cnduk.org