For immediate release: 20 November 2006
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will launch an Alternative White Paper on Trident Replacement on Tuesday 21st November at 11 am. The press conference will take place in Room C, 1 Parliament Street, London SW1.
Amongst those launching the Paper will be Jon Trickett MP, Elfyn Llywd MP, Katy Clark MP, Gavin Strang MP, Jim Devine MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, and Kate Hudson, Chair of CND. Statements of support will be read from additional MPs unable to attend.
Jon Trickett MP, Chair of the Compass group of MPs, said, ““This latest CND document on the proposed Trident White paper reinforces my view – and that of much of the Parliamentary Labour Party – that any renewal of Trident would call into question our legal obligations under the NPT and our moral responsibility to promote international stability. It is time for our government to hold transparent, meaningful talks on the full scope of their plans. It is also imperative that all who fear a new arms race and the strategic folly of spending vast amounts of taxpayer’s money on a deterrent that belongs to a bygone era make their opposition to such a course of action crystal clear.”
In support of a full debate on the issue, Jon Cruddas MP said, “I am yet to be convinced that Trident replacement is in Britain’s national interest. It is time to have a full and meaningful discussion within the Parliamentary Labour Party, Parliament and around the country, so that we make the right decision after the fullest possible debate.”
Michael Meacher MP said, “If greater security is the defining factor, then the UK absolutely should not replace Trident. It answers no threats that we currently face and in fact creates more. I am proud to endorse the Alternative White Paper, seeking a safer Britain and a safer world.”
Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said, “The Government has refused to publish a Green Paper outlining all available options. In response to this partial treatment of the issue, CND has produced an Alternative White Paper making the case for non-replacement, in line with the opinion of the majority of British people.” (1)
Notes to Editor:
1. 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. Click here for a full copy of the poll.
2. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
3. Key points highlighted in the Alternative White Paper include:
* The inability of nuclear weapons to meet today’s major security threat, terrorism
* The absence of current nuclear superpower threats
* The promotion of nuclear proliferation: ‘The more that those states that already have [nuclear weapons] increase their arsenals, or insist that such weapons are essential to their national security, the more other states feel that they too must have them for their security.’ – Kofi Annan, 31 January 2006
* Britain’s treaty obligation under the NPT to accomplish the total elimination of its nuclear arsenal
* The cost of Trident replacement: up to £76 billion would adversely affect public spending on health care and other important issues
4. 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. Click here for a full copy of the poll.
5. 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.