The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has described today’s Defence Green Paper as a disastrous missed opportunity. To review Defence priorities whilst specifically excluding Trident replacement is “avoiding the huge white elephant in the room”.
A cross-party group of 117 MPs had protested as early as last July that today’s review needed to include consideration of Trident. EDM 1883 in the last parliamentary session was tabled by former shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram and former Defence minister Peter Kilfoyle [see note 3].
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “The exclusion of Trident, one of the most costly defence programmes, makes this review a nonsense. Bob Ainsworth talked of the ‘real financial pressure’ facing future plans, yet is living in a fantasy world if he thinks spending £76bn on Trident replacement won’t have major opportunity costs in both defence and other areas. Excluding the ruinously expensive Trident is like avoiding the huge white elephant in the room.
“When all major parties are proposing huge spending cuts, this is the time for ministers to realise that scrapping Trident replacement would be one very positive and popular cutback. Polls [see note 4] consistently show a clear majority against Trident whilst at the same time a growing number of senior military figures have described the system as ‘militarily useless’. Presidents Obama and Medvedev are both working towards a nuclear-free world – scrapping Trident would move us towards this goal, improving our security as well as freeing-up resources for spending on real priorities, not Cold War relics.”
# 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. http://www.cnduk.org
# EDM 1883 from the 2008-9 session was signed by 117 MPs: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=39104&SESSION=899
# For recent independent polls see http://www.cnduk.org/polls