As prime minister, one of your first tasks will have been to write the letters of last resort to the commanders of our nuclear weapons submarines. Few individuals can ever have to face such a momentous task but our possession of nuclear weapons is now a chief part of your new responsibilities. We sincerely hope that in those letters you did not order the use of nuclear weapons.
We wish also to express our concern about Britain’s continued possession of nuclear weapons, and to request – as we near the anniversary of the only time nuclear weapons have been used in war, in August 1945 – that you rethink Britain’s nuclear weapons posture and show global leadership in adopting a defence policy that actually meets 21st century security challenges. Recent governments have accurately identified the key threats we face as climate change, cyberwarfare, terrorism and other crucial, contemporary challenges. Investment is much needed to address these issues and I urge you to reallocate funds from Trident to other security needs, as well as channeling national resources into strengthening our NHS and boosting the economy.
As we approach the 74th anniversary of the catastrophic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the risk of accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons remains significant. Today almost 14,000 nuclear weapons still threaten the survival of the world, including the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. Only nuclear abolition will allow for a secure future for all peoples. So the time has come for a fundamental change of policy.
Since the UK ratified the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) fifty years ago, successive UK governments have voiced support for the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Yet the UK continues to deploy, maintain and spend money on nuclear weapons, contravening their NPT commitments. We ask that you, and our government, take all possible action, and use all possible influence, to fulfill the promises made in the NPT.
This is an opportunity for the UK to play a leading role in the international community by taking steps to rid the world of these abhorrent weapons.
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