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Anti-nuclear campaigners have criticised a debate held in the House of Commons to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD).

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“50 years after the first British submarine carrying nuclear weapons on board was deployed, the world has changed fundamentally. But judging by this debate, the attitudes of most of our politicians haven’t evolved at all. We have heard 50-year old arguments from the government today which ignore the rapid pace of technological change which render nuclear weapons submarines obsolete. We need a new vision of security for the 21st century not a tired repetition of past dogma.

“Today’s security challenges are more complex than ever before, involving non-state actors, cyber warfare, migration, pandemics, and environmental pressures – none of which can be met by nuclear weapons. So it does not make sense to waste at least £205 billion on a new nuclear weapons system. While replacing Trident is bankrupting the Ministry of Defence, scrapping the programme would allow more money to be invested in addressing the real security threats we face, as well as in vital public services.

“It is also morally repugnant that a service of thanksgiving for Britain’s nuclear weapons system is due to be held at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the anniversary. This sends out a terrible message to the world about our country. It says that here in Britain we celebrate weapons – in a place of worship – that can kill millions of people.

“CND will hold protests at Westminster Abbey if this celebration of nuclear weapons goes ahead. And our campaign against these weapons of mass destruction will continue for as long as it takes to get rid of them.”