For immediate release: Wednesday 15 January 2003

CND is awaiting with apprehension the expected government statement this afternoon on the use of Fylingdales radar base in North Yorkshire for the US missile defence programme.

CND is amazed that any announcement can be made when we are still in the period of public consultation, announced by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon shortly before Christmas, and the Defence Select Committee is still taking evidence in its enquiry into the matter.

CND calls upon the government to heed the many dissenting voices, both in this country and abroad, and to do everything in its power to dissuade the US from this dangerous and idiotic proposal.

The arms race will escalate as countries increase their arsenals in an attempt to beat the proposed missile defences. North Korea has threatened to leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty, China is massively expanding its nuclear programme, and this is certain to be followed by India and then Pakistan.

A small fraction of the money being squandered on missile defence would help to alleviate some of the problems of poverty and injustice which lead to unrest and conflict, without the terrible accompanying dangers.

Missile defence will do nothing to add to the security of the UK, and indeed makes this country, and particularly the people of North Yorkshire, a target for those wishing to destroy the US missile defence programme.

CND Chair, Carol Naughton, said:

“Global security must be sought through adherence to international law and treaties, not by the most powerful nation wielding the biggest stick. The UK has nothing to gain from Star Wars and everything to lose. CND will continue to campaign against this monstrous intrusion into our democracy, our countryside and world security.”

CND Press contact: 020 7700 2350; Mobiles: 07968 420859; 07736 698702