The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the report of IPPR’s Commission on National Security as furthering the debate on Trident replacement, but regrets that the Commission chose not to fully explore the considerable strategic benefits of a nuclear weapons-free Britain. The report adds to the calls from across the political spectrum and from the upper echelons of the armed forces, who are urgently questioning the need for Trident replacement.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said:
“We welcome the Commission’s view that there should be a thorough Strategic Review which would reconsider the decision to replace Trident, but regret the focus merely on cheaper forms of nuclear weaponry.
“The significant defence advantages of joining the 95% of countries which ensure their security without city-destroying nuclear weapons need active consideration. The potential for Britain leading other countries into multilateral disarmament should not be ignored – only today the prestigious Global Zero coalition have outlined their plans for full disarmament by 2030 – a non-nuclear Britain could seize the moral leadership in this and other fields. The positive moves – not least from President Obama – to bring about global abolition must be supported to the hilt by Britain – replacing Trident cuts right across these.
“It is hardly possible to conceive of a group more reflective of the British defence establishment than this Commission, yet they are clear that the current plan to build a like-for-like Trident replacement cannot continue without a serious rethink. The ruinously expensive Cold War-system, which eats up a huge proportion of the defence equipment budget must now be subject to a full and open review. Committing to spending in excess of £76 billion cannot continue at a time of severe economic hardship.
The current schedule for Trident replacement includes a decision by government – the Initial Gate – during Parliamentary recess this September. Over 160 MPs have now signed EDM 660 calling for a Parliamentary debate before this decision is taken to proceed to the next stage in the replacement process. The Foreign Affairs Committee also recommended a further Parliamentary debate in its recent report on global security and non-proliferation. To date, the government has resisted this option.
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For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
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.