Monday, 20 April 2015

Trident renewal and NPT review conference

letter sent to the Independent, 20 April 2015
On Monday next week the quinquennial review of th e190-member state Nuclear Non Proliferation Conference (NPT) – for which the UK is one of three depositary states with the US and Russia-  begins at the United Nations in New York, running from 27 April–22 May.
The SNP manifesto launched on Moday  pledges to get rid of the UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident:  this would be compatible with the UK’s obligations under article 6 of the NPT, which requires each member state to undertake

“to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament….”
Yet in your report on the SNP  policy on dumping Trident, you cite Conservative Chairman,  Grant Shapps as dismissing this  as “giving the SNP what it wants, weaker defences.” (report, 20 April). David Cameron described it as a “match made in hell” And Tory Defence Secretary Michael Fallon asserted on Sky News that  the SNP manifesto as “the most expensive ransom note in history”.

However, in a Parliamentary debate (on 20 January) on the Trident WMD programme the same  Mr Fallon told MPs
"we also share the vision of a world that is without nuclear weapons, achieved through multilateral disarmament.” (emphasis added)

Why is the Defence Secretary determined to continue a process that will result in £100 thousand million (£100 billion) on a replacement nuclear weapons system when he has put it on the Parliamentary record as recently as January he wants to realise a world without any nuclear weapons of  mass destruction at all; and when senior British diplomatic officials will later this month be in New York negotiating such a future?

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