The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today expressed disappointment with Labour’s election manifesto which not only commits to maintaining British nuclear weapons in the face of US/Russian disarmament moves, but has excluded any reconsideration of this policy in the upcoming Strategic Defence Review.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “With the world’s largest nuclear powers agreeing major disarmament moves only last week, it is particularly disappointing that Labour are committed to excluding Britain’s nuclear weapons from the Strategic Defence Review. Any real review of the country’s defence needs should re-evaluate our security needs in the light of changed circumstances. Pretending that the US/Russian reductions aren’t taking place, ignoring progress made at Obama’s nuclear summit this week and disregarding the changed context after next month’s major review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, makes it look as though billions are being committed to nuclear weapons not because of any security consideration, but because of a desire to appear ‘tough’ on defence.
With costs upwards of £76bn, replacing Trident has huge opportunity costs – especially at a time of spending cuts. What Labour is saying is that other projects – both social and defence – can be cut, but that Trident is the one immovable MoD spending commitment around which everything else must fit. Instead of sticking their heads in the sand and pretending there is no progress on nuclear disarmament, the Labour government could have made a significant step towards their deficit reduction goals in one single move – as well as enhancing global security. Cancelling Trident would prove hugely more popular than the salami slicing of schools, hospitals and other public services that will be necessary as a direct consequence of keeping this ruinously expensive Cold War weapons system.
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For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
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.
Labour Manifesto 2010: Despite this continued investment, acute cost pressures remain in long-term defence projects. We are reforming defence procurement, making further reductions in civilian staff, and cutting lower-priority spending on headquarters costs, travel and consultancy. A Strategic Defence Review will look at all areas of defence, but we will maintain our independent nuclear deterrent. We will fight for multilateral disarmament, working for a world free of nuclear weapons, in the Non Proliferation Treaty Review conference and beyond – combining support for civilian nuclear energy with concerted action against proliferation