As a landmark nuclear arms control treaty is scrapped, anti-nuclear campaigners will hand in a letter to Downing Street today calling on the Prime Minister to guarantee that Britain will not play host to US nuclear missiles.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is set to expire today after US president Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the pact earlier this year.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“Trump’s unpicking of this landmark nuclear arms control pact is an act of diplomatic vandalism. Now it has been scrapped, the nuclear missiles that Trump says he’s against are in effect now legalised.
“We’re fast moving from a situation where arms control issues can be highlighted and addressed, to a state of international lawlessness where there will be no limits on the deployment of nuclear weapons.
“If we needed a clearer sign that this is now a nuclear arms race, Washington is set to trial new nuclear missiles that exceed the INF treaty’s limits and Moscow has similar plans. It’s a game of nuclear tit for tat in which there can be no winners as the threat of nuclear war rises.
“Boris Johnson must recognise these dangers and guarantee that Britain will refuse to host US nuclear missiles. If he doesn’t, the government should expect a major response from civil society like the huge protests we saw at Greenham Common when US cruise missiles came to Britain in the 1980s. We cannot allow Europe to become a theatre of nuclear war for this increasingly bellicose US President.”
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament letter to Boris Johnson
CND will hand in a letter to Downing Street on the 2 August 2019. The letter will say:
- This is a bleak day for the international rules-based system that has helped to prevent nuclear war and proliferation of nuclear weapons.The INF Treaty eliminated over 2,500 nuclear missiles and helped to end the Cold War nuclear arms race.There is now a real danger that a new nuclear arms race will be unleashed with cruise-type missiles returning to Europe. The UK will be on the front line in a future nuclear war.We therefore call on the British government to guarantee that it will refuse to host intermediate range missiles if it is asked to do so by the US administration. Our government must do all it can to defend and extend arms control treaties, like the Iran nuclear deal and the New Start treaty.
At this time of heightened global tension, we need the strengthening – rather than the repudiation – of international law.
- The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is a British campaigning organisation with 36,000 members, best known for its iconic logo and street mobilisations against nuclear weapons and war