12 September 2005: for immediate release
Key figures in the Labour movement will call for the government not to replace Trident and will be saying no to a new generation of nuclear weapons at a fringe meeting organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at this year’s TUC Congress. The meeting will be chaired by Kate Hudson Chair of CND and the panel of speakers will include Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary of Unison, John McGhee, National Officer, FBU and Jeremy Corbyn MP. The meeting will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 14th September 2005 in the Sandringham Suite, Hilton Metropole, King’s Road, Brighton.
Britain’s nuclear weapon system Trident will reach the end of its lifespan in the 2020s and a decision on replacement will have to be taken in this parliament. Reports suggest that a decision to replace it has already been taken, although the government denies this. No parliamentary debate has yet taken place yet massive building work has already begun at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston. Replacement options suggest that the government is looking to replace Trident with a system that is usable. It looks as if the government is following the US down the dangerous path of new ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons to use on the battlefield. Replacing Trident would come at an estimated cost of £15 billion. The UK would be breaking its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and would further increase global instability.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
“In April the prime minister stated: “We’ve got to retain our nuclear deterrent …” In the present global climate, who are we deterring? No terrorist is deterred by the threat of nuclear weapons. By refusing to comply with our side of the NPT bargain we are undermining the foundation of the non-proliferation regime. By suggesting that we would use nuclear weapons against countries without nukes we are increasing the likelihood of proliferation. And by following Bush down the road of aggressive action under the bogus guise of the hunt for WMD we are causing chaos and suffering in Iraq which isolates us further from the global community.
The campaign to say No to Trident replacement is a campaign for peace and global security. It is a campaign to uphold Britain’s Treaty obligations and respect for international law. £15 billion should be spent on alleviating suffering and poverty at home and abroad not on new sophisticated ways to kill. Tony Blair has the opportunity in this parliament to help make this a reality and announce that Trident won’t be replaced.”
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. The following unions are affiliated to CND – CWU, ASLEF, UNISON, FBU, RMT.
3. 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.