GOVERNMENT plans to spend £1 billion updating the UK’s ‘Trident’ nuclear weapons
will undermine attempts to prevent North Korea and Iran developing nuclear
arsenals – and could increase the threat of terrorists getting their hands on a
so-called ‘dirty bomb’, Green MEP Caroline Lucas has warned.
Investing in Trident could also breach international law, according to the
South-East England Euro-MP, and will drain public funds away from other areas
such as education, health, transport, policing and environmental protection.
“Nuclear weapons have been responsible for the indiscriminate deaths of hundreds
of thousands of civilians worldwide, and their use has been
declared unlawful by the International Court of Justice in The Hague,” she said.
“Tony Blair cannot hope to persuade states such as Iran and North Korea to
abandon their nuclear ambitions whilst the UK maintains and updates its own
“The risk of nuclear weapons use - by accident, design or miscalculation - is
increasing due to the proliferation of nuclear weapons to new States, the
possibility of non-State access to nuclear weapons and bomb-building materials,
and the expanded nuclear weapons use doctrines of the nuclear weapon states.”
Earlier this month Dr Lucas joined Green Members of the Scottish Parliament and
thousands of anti-nuclear campaigners at a vigil and blockade to mark the G8
summit which shut down the UK’s ‘Trident’ nuclear submarine base at Faslane,
Scotland, for a day.
In 2000 the mother-of-two was arrested for breaching the peace during a similar
blockade of the base. Despite arguing that she intended exactly the opposite –
to prevent a breach of the peace – she was convicted. An eventual appeal to the
European Court of Human Rights was declared inadmissible in 2003.
Dr Lucas, who is also a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s
national council and Co-President of the European Parliament’s cross-party Peace
Initiatives group, said she would keep attending peaceful demonstrations – and
risking arrest for non-violent direct action – until the UK scrapped its nuclear
The new cash – which was announced in the House of Commons by Defence Secretary
John Reid yesterday – will be spent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment near
Aldermaston in Berkshire.
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