Nuclear Disarmament

In an early show of opposition to Trident replacement, a number of newly-elected MP from different parties will join CND Chair Kate Hudson at Downing Street tomorrow to call for action on nuclear disarmament from the new government.

The letter has been produced in response to the outcomes of the recent nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN and will ask the government to outline how it will make progress on reaching the objectives of the agreement, including when and by how much the UK will further reduce its warhead stockpile and how it will reduce the circumstances in which we may use nuclear weapons.

The conference’s final agreement calls on the nuclear weapon states to

  • ‘undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons’
  • ‘accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament’ and to
  • ‘rapidly move towards an overall reduction in the global stockpile of nuclear weapons [and] further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies’.

MPs joining Kate Hudson include the Liberal Democrats’ Julian Huppert, the SNP’s Eilidh Whiteford and the Green Party’s first MP Caroline Lucas. The initiative is supported by newly elected Labour MP John Cryer.

Also handing in the letter will be CND Vice President Rebecca Johnson, who was a Senior Advisor to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), chaired by Dr Hans Blix (2004-2006) and General Sir Hugh Beach.

The letter hand in takes place at 4pm at Downing Street, following Prime Ministers Questions.

CND Chair Kate Hudson said: "The support we’ve received from newly-elected MPs is a reflection of the strong demand for action from the new government on nuclear disarmament. This was demonstrated in the general election, where discussion of nuclear weapons had a higher profile than in any election for decades.

The government has signed up to accelerated progress towards nuclear disarmament, yet has declared its commitment to a new nuclear weapon system that will keep Britain nuclear-armed until the 2050s. Given that we signed the NPT forty years ago, the commitment to another forty years of nuclear weapons does not sound like an acceleration. The government needs to outline how it will achieve this – a good first step is to include Trident in the Strategic Defence Review, with the option of No Trident Replacement firmly on the table."

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