6 November 2007: for immediate release
Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the references to the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill, which may include the removal of the prerogative power to wage war from the executive, giving the Commons the final say on military deployments.
The Government has already stated that it will “develop a parliamentary convention that could be formalised by a resolution” in parallel to giving “further consideration to the option of legislation” [see note 3].
CND reacted with disappointment to the statement on Iran, which whilst paying lip-service to the very necessary cause of preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, failed to articulate a distinctive, pragmatic approach to the situation, rather than blindly follow US rhetoric designed to turn the situation into an acute crisis before the end of the Bush presidency next year.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “Given that some, especially in the US administration do not see Iraq as being the last ‘pre-emptive war’, it is essential that the power to send British forces to battle is firmly under the control of Parliament, not the Government. Cast-iron legislation and not just parliamentary convention is the only way this measure can gain the trust of the majority of the population who feel let-down over Iraq. A few years ago, the idea that we would need legislation to place a check on the Government supporting wars against countries that have attacked no one would have been seen as far fetched. Now, with the war drums beating again, this time over Iran, it is highly necessary.”
She continued, “It is very disappointing that the Government has not used this opportunity to lay out a distinctive message on Iran, making it clear that Iran will not be subject to British aggression due to unproven suspicions over its future intentions. This is particularly the case when neighbouring states have not only their nuclear power but weapons programmes de facto endorsed by the US and UK.”
Notes to Editors:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. Relevant sections of the Queen’s Speech include:
“My government will continue to work with the government of Iraq to deliver security, political reconciliation and economic reconstruction. My government will continue to support the government of Afghanistan as it tackles extremism, instability and the narcotics trade. My government will continue to work with the United Nations, G8 and European Union to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, including addressing international concerns over Iran’s nuclear intentions.”
“My government is committed to openness and accountability, and to a strong Parliament able to hold the government properly to account. Proposals will be brought forward to renew the constitutional settlement and strengthen the relationship between the government, Parliament and the people.”
3. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.