For immediate release: 20 July 2006

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament welcomed the government’s commitment to a vote on Trident – as announced by the Leader of the Commons Jack Straw today – following months of pressure from campaigners and MPs.

However, CND warned that a vote in Parliament must be preceded by a full public and Parliamentary debate and the publication of a Green Paper outlining all the options. The “statement in advance of any debate,” which Mr Straw referred to, must not merely outline the government’s preferences. It must facilitate an open and democratic debate rather than stifle any opinions or rule out any options such as non-replacement.

Concerns that the government intends to pre-empt a full discussion of all the options were raised when the Defence Secretary Des Browne stated on 11th July that “decisions will be made by the end of this year, after which the government will publish a White Paper.”

Kate Hudson, CND Chair, stated, “We welcome the government’s commitment to a vote in the Commons. This comes following months of campaigning by activists around the country for a democratic process but we are concerned that any ‘advance statement’ by the government must not pre-empt the debate. We are still awaiting the full public and parliamentary debate announced by the John Reid in September of last year.”


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.