5 December 2005: for immediate release
Press Invite: No Trident Replacement Public Meeting, Tuesday 6th December,
6.30 – 8.30pm, Committee Room 10, House of Commons., nr Tube Westminster
The arguments against replacing the Trident Nuclear Weapons System will be set out by former Cabinet Ministers, MPs, trade union leaders and campaigners at a meeting organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament this Tuesday. Speakers will demand that a full public and parliamentary debate takes place on the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, and that the option of not replacing Trident must be on the table.
Trident will reach the end of its lifespan in 2025. A decision will be made in this parliament on its replacement. It is estimated that the total cost of replacing ‘Trident’ missiles, warheads, submarines and related facilities could be as much as £25 billion.
Clare Short MP, Secretary of State for International Development 1997–2003
“Replacing Trident will tie UK foreign policy to US policy for decades to come. It would prevent the UK from acting with others on global warming, poverty and conflict and perpetuate our role as US poodle”.
Michael Meacher MP, Environment Minister 1997 – 2003
“It is highly questionable whether a non-independent British nuclear weapon still serves any useful purpose. Replacing Trident would come at an estimated cost of £15 to £25 Billion; surely this money could be better spent elsewhere. We must have a proper debate and vote on Trident Replacement and the option not to replace Trident must be on the table.”
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Chair of Parliament Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
“A full debate and vote must be taken on the issue of Trident replacement. The government must not be allowed to take this decision behind closed doors. Far from deterring nuclear threats, replacing Trident will increase the risk of nuclear conflict.”
Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary UNISON,
“From a public service union perspective replacing Trident is going to cost £25 billion which would be better spent on improving public services.”
Bruce Kent, Vice President Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
“ The British government should take this opportunity to start negotiations for nuclear disarmament worldwide, as required under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and become a force for peace in the world”
The meeting will be addressed by former Cabinet Ministers Clare Short MP and Michael Meacher MP along side Gordon Prentice MP, Katy Clark MP, Jim Devine MP (MP for Robin Cook’s former Constituency), Alan Simpson MP, Gavin Strang MP, Baroness Jenny Tonge (Liberal Democrat Peer), Elfyn Llwyd MP (Plaid Cymru), Angus Robertson MP (SNP), There will also be speakers from Trade Unions: Keith Sonnet, UNISON, Barry Camfield, TGWU, John McGhee, FBU, London Assembly Member Jenny Jones and The First Secretary at the High Commission of New Zealand, Bill Dobbie, They will be joined by CND’s Chair, Kate Hudson, Vice-Chair Jeremy Corbyn MP, and Vice-President Bruce Kent.
For press credentials contact Ruth Tanner on 07968 420859
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. Unions Nationally affiliated to CND – UNISON, CWU, RMT, FBU, ASLEF and CATU.
3. In a recent MORI/Greenpeace poll 54% of the British public said they would oppose a costly replacement of Trident. This clearly shows that when faced with the financial implications of replacing Trident the majority (54%) oppose the development of a new nuclear weapons system. CND believes this money would be better spent on defeating poverty at home and abroad, and providing for employment, education and health. For full details of the Greenpeace / MORI poll
4. 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.