The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament gave a mixed response to Gordon Brown’s National Security Strategy, as announced in Parliament today [see note 3 for nuclear-related extract].
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “We welcome the Prime Minister’s re-stated commitment to accelerating nuclear disarmament and preventing nuclear proliferation. Any indication that he actually intends to make progress on disarmament is positive.
“But the UK cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. We need to be consistently pro-disarmament if our intentions are to carry any weight. We must abandon Britain’s own proliferation via Trident replacement and halt the £5bn upgrade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. Billions are being spent to develop the capacity to build a new generation of warheads when ministers have said MPs will not need to decide on this until the next parliament.
“As the Prime Minister sees progress on disarmament as a core part of his security strategy he should announce immediate and meaningful confidence-building actions to help promote negotiations – a stay on developing the new Trident submarines and ending the continuous deployment of the current fleet by keeping them in port.”
Thousands of CND supporters will be gathering at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston (near Reading) this Monday, marking 50 years since the first march to Aldermaston.
Notes to Editors: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.
Gordon Brown’s statement included the following on nuclear issues: “I can tell the House that Britain will be at the forefront of diplomatic action on nuclear weapons control and reduction, offering a new bargain to non-nuclear powers. On the one hand we will help them and we have proposed the creation of a new international system to help non-nuclear states acquire the new sources of energy they need, including through a global enrichment bond – and we are today inviting interested countries to an international conference on these themes later this year. But in return we will seek agreement on tougher controls aimed at reducing weapons and preventing proliferation. First, ending the stalemates on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Second, achieving after 2010 a more robust implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty with the aim of accelerating disarmament among possessor states, preventing proliferation and ultimately freeing the world from nuclear weapons. And as a new priority to meet the dangers both of proliferation to new states and of material falling into the hands of terrorists, tougher action not just against potential proliferators such as Iran but also new action against suppliers: seeking to strengthen export control regimes and build a more effective forensic nuclear capability in order to determine the true source of material employed in any nuclear device. And having already reduced the numbers of our operationally available warheads by 20 per cent – and made our expertise available for the verifiable elimination of nuclear warheads – I can confirm that we, Britain, are ready to play our part.”