Evidence submitted by Bruce Kent, Vice-President of CND


The UK should not remain nuclear weapons state.

Nuclear weapons ensure, for the whole world community, ever increasing insecurity. Few realise how many accidents and misunderstandings have over the last 50 years brought us close to disaster. There is good reason to fear that nuclear weapons will eventually get into the hands of non state agents against whom deterrence has no effect since there is no specific territory to threaten. Furthermore UK continued possession of nuclear weapons will encourage others to believe that nuclear weapons provide security and try to get their own.

All alternatives to Trident are equally challenged by the objections above. The search for a non-Trident option is just political and perhaps economic face saving.

The first thing the UK should do is to enter positively into nuclear weapon elimination negotiations and urge the other nuclear weapon states to do so too. The second is to decide not to replace Trident. The third is to take confidence-building steps such as the removal of warheads from missiles, and invite international inspectors to verify this. The fourth is to honour the obligations arising from the 1978 UN SSD1 Report, paragraphs 100-106. We then agreed to promote public education about disarmament. ‘…Programmes of education for disarmament and peace studies at all levels’ were promised. This was to take place in partnership with non-governmental organisations. This has never happened and the result is that most of the general public still mistakenly believe that nuclear weapons are the absolute guarantee of ultimate security.

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