‘What About Proliferation?’ CND Condemns Queen’s Speech on Nuclear Weapons
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
For immediate release: 15th November 2006
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned the Queen’s Speech for perpetuating the British government’s one-sided approach to the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation. The speech committed the government to working ‘to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction’. This ignores the fact that top government figures intend to replace Trident – Britain’s own nuclear weapons system. Far from helping to resolve the problem of nuclear proliferation, the hypocrisy of the nuclear weapon states helps promote nuclear proliferation and will provoke a new nuclear arms race. This also continues to ignore Britain’s failure to pursue nuclear disarmament as it is required to under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said, “We have to ask the government: ‘What about stopping UK proliferation of nuclear weapons?’ As Kofi Annan says, while nuclear weapons states retain nuclear weapons and even pursue new systems, other countries will conclude that they need to get them for their security too. Our government’s pursuance of a new generation of nuclear weapons will lead to greater insecurity. Simply pursuing counter-proliferation in other countries is inadequate – we must also address our disarmament obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
The Queen’s Speech also stated that the government will continue to work to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. CND condemns NATO’s first strike nuclear policy, the provocative expansion of NATO in recent years, and the stationing of over 100 US/NATO nuclear bombs at Lakenheath airbase in East Anglia.
The Speech also referred to contributing to a modern and inclusive United Nations. Commenting on this commitment, Ms Hudson said:
“The best contribution that Britain can make to the UN is to support international law, and strengthen the international treaty framework through compliance. Actions like the illegal war on Iraq serve to undermine the international legal framework. Consistent failure to comply with the NPT, and a selective approach to demands for compliance with UN resolutions on disarmament and initiatives like the nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East make the UN weaker not stronger.”
“The Queen’s Speech is a missed opportunity. The government must face up to the real security issues of the age – such as climate change, and work to invest its resources in finding long-lasting solutions to the nation’s and planet’s problems. A decision not to replace Trident, to reject nuclear weapons and work for global nuclear disarmament and genuine human security, is the type of vision that the majority of the population would like to see from this government.”
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. An ICM poll from June 2006 showed that 81% of the British public believes that any decision on Trident replacement should be made by Parliament, not the Prime Minister alone. Click here for a full copy of the poll.
3 . According to a July 2006 ICM poll, 59% of the British public opposes a replacement of Trident when presented with a cost of at least £25 billion. Click here for a full copy of the poll.
4 . 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.