For immediate release: 24 May 2006

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the announcement by a Pentagon official that interceptor missiles for the US ‘Son of Star Wars’ missile defence system will not be sited in the UK, according to the Scottish Herald newspaper. The official cited the strong domestic opposition to the ongoing occupation of Iraq as a primary reason for this decision.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “This is a strong indication of the growing power of peace campaigning in the UK, especially as it comes together with the news that RAF Fairford is ruled out of a role in any possible attack on Iran for the same reason. This is a victory for peace and democracy. The majority of the British people want no part in these preparations for further militarisation and war.”

At the same time, CND deplores the proposal to site the interceptor missiles in central Europe, whether in Poland, the Czech Republic or elsewhere. In an already tense world, such a step will have a negative impact on western relations with Russia – which has already expressed concern about NATO expansion up to Russian borders. CND also notes that continued UK participation in the missile defence system, via the Fylingdales and Menwith Hill sites in Yorkshire, will bring considerable risks to the British population.

Ms Hudson said, “The widely accepted consequence of this missile defence system is that it provokes a new nuclear arms race as nations seek a way to get around it or through it. Any site that plays a part in this missile defence system will make that country a target for any potential enemy. Whilst it is a positive step that interceptors will not come to Britain, both Fylingdales and Menwith Hill are already allocated significant roles in a US missile defence system. This puts the people of Britain at risk – indeed it puts them on the front line in a future war. The US must end its dangerous and provocative plans for a missile defence system.”


Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. 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.