Peace campaigners have responded to news of a new MoD space programme, announced by Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt earlier today.

Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:

“We condemn UK involvement in these new military programmes in space. Our leaders should be taking steps to preserve space for peace, rather than racing towards its weaponisation.

“The Defence Secretary rightly celebrates the moon landings in her speech today. They represented a high point of the peaceful exploration of space, an endeavour that inspires the best in humanity. But the militarisation of space is completely at odds with this peaceful vision and Britain should play no role in it.

“The MoD statement says the ‘sky is no longer the limit for our Armed Forces’ and that the UK will participate in a new US-led military space programme. Donald Trump has already made clear the direction of travel when he announced his plan to create a Space Force as a new branch of the US military – to ensure US domination of space.

“The militarisation of space will only make the world a more dangerous place by weakening existing arms control treaties and pressuring other states to ramp up their own military spending. Space cannot be the preserve of bellicose individuals – it must be left free and undefiled.”