Trident Ploughshares Condemns Theresa May’s Trident Vote Call as Madness

Press Release   5 July 2016

8 June construction gateJust four days after winding up an historic month of opposition to UK nuclear weapons at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment members of the anti-nuclear weapons campaign group Trident Ploughshares have challenged Theresa May’s call for an “urgent” vote on Trident replacement as dangerous, undemocratic and self-serving.

Speaking on behalf of Trident Ploughshares Jane Tallents said “In calling for a snap vote on Trident replacement before the summer recess Theresa May claims the UK must meet what she believes to be an existential threat from Russia, North Korea and terrorism, and that it would be ‘madness’ not to ‘get building’. But as Home Secretary Theresa May knows that nuclear weapons would not address the real threats, identified in the Strategic Defence and Security Review – climate change and cyber security, and that Trident will not deter terrorists.”

“Theresa May reveals the real reasons for her urgency when she says that the Conservatives are united around the desire to replace Trident and that it is crucial to show that the UK will remain in NATO, and continue to play a leading role globally – she aims to consolidate her position as a strong candidate for Prime Minister, willing to use nuclear weapons to guarantee not our security but her place as next PM and the UKs place on the UN security council.”

“At this time of increasing economic uncertainty when the present government will be looking to further impose painful austerity with cuts to programmes that meet real human needs the real madness would be to leap into a decision to spend an estimated cost of up to £167 Billion.” [2]

“The month long protest at Burghfield AWE included faith groups, women, academics and people from half a dozen European countries demonstrating widespread public opposition to further reliance on nuclear weapons for security, not only within the UK but across Europe.” [3]

“Trident Ploughshares and others will not roll over while the Westminster establishment pushes through an undemocratic decision to renew these dangerous and ultimately illegal weapon. The best way to guarantee our security would be to take Trident off patrol and join the majority of countries globally in fulfilling our obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and negotiate a global ban on nuclear weapons, explicitly outlawing them.” [4]

 

Notes to Editors

[1] Trident Ploughshares campaigns for the disarmament of the UKs nuclear weapons. For further information see: www.tridentploughshares.org.uk

[2] Reuters. 25 Oct 2015. “Exclusive: UK nuclear deterrent to cost $256 billion, far more than expected.” :  “Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said on Friday the acquisition of four new submarines would cost 25 billion pounds. He added that the in-service costs would be about 6 percent of the annual defense budget over their lifetime.” ” ‘My office’s calculation based on an in-service date of 2028 and a missile extension until 2060 … the total cost is 167 billion pounds,” Blunt told Reuters.’ ”

[3] For further details on the recent month of action at AWE Burghfield see: http://tridentploughshares.org/awe-burghfield-anti-trident-protesters-mark-final-day-of-campaign/

[4] For the movement for a global ban on nuclear weapons see: International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons: “A Ban is Coming”: http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/ican-report-on-may-session-of-un-working-group/