6 February 2007: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament condemned Defence Secretary Des Browne for his evasiveness in his testimony to the Defence Select Committee earlier today.
Some of the many topics evaded by Browne included absolute cost figures for a Trident replacement and scenarios in which Britain’s nuclear weapons would actually be used.
Browne only spoke of Trident replacement costs in terms of a percentage of the total defence budget, and would not specify what represents Britain’s ‘vital interests’ even though the government repeatedly used this term in the white paper to describe when Trident or its replacement would be used.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, ‘It is shameful that our Defence Secretary has not given MPs and the British people answers to many questions of vital importance on Trident replacement. The government must provide information transparently, and must allow a full consultation where all options, including non-replacement, are considered.’
CND, the Stop the War Coalition, and the British Muslim Initiative are organising a national demonstration in London on Saturday 24th February, calling for ‘No Trident’ and ‘Troops Home from Iraq.’ It is expected to be Britain’s largest anti-nuclear demonstration in decades.
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. An ICM poll from June 2006 showed that 81% of the British public believes that any decision on Trident replacement should be made by Parliament, not the Prime Minister alone.
3. According to a July 2006 ICM poll, 59% of the British public opposes a replacement of Trident when presented with a cost of at least £25 billion.
4. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.