CND welcomes tonight’s news that three senior military figures have spoken out against Trident replacement. In a letter due to be published in The Times on Friday 16th January, BBC Newsnight reports, they find that Britain’s nuclear weapons serve no military purpose, are not independent, do not secure our standing in the world, and divert scarce resources from useful military military spending.

This position goes beyond the calls in recent months – from former UK foreign and defence secretaries and other leading figures around the world – for progress on multilateral initiatives towards nuclear disarmament. This is a clear statement that irrespective of what other countries do, nuclear weapons do not meet Britain’s defence needs and their opportunity cost is actually detrimental to our security.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: ‘This statement debunks the myth that nuclear weapons are necessary for our security. These generals are no pacifists – they are purely practical about Britain’s needs and have concluded that we are better off without them.

‘CND is calling for a new debate to be opened on Trident replacement. The first report on the replacement progress is due in September 2009 – the so-called ‘Initial Gate’. This must be debated fully in Parliament, taking into account the new economic and global security situation – and the views of these military experts. We do not want a behind the scenes decision by the government, flying in the face of both public and expert opinion.’