Churches oppose plans to increase stockpiles of nuclear weapons
Alongside other faith bodies and anti-nuclear campaigners, Quakers in Britain have denounced the UK government's intention to hugely increase their stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Church leaders across seven denominations have today made the following statement following the publication of the government's integrated review of foreign and defence policies:
“The government's decision in the integrated review of defence, security and foreign policy to increase the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK can stockpile by more than 40 percent is a retrograde step that will not make any of us safer.
“Our Trident submarines already carry warheads that in total have an explosive yield equivalent to hundreds of the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima. It is immoral that the UK government is committing resources, which could be spent on the common good of our society, to stockpiling even more.
As people of faith, we join with millions across the world who are working for the elimination of nuclear arsenals.- Church leaders' statement
“Over the last 50 years, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has restricted the increase in the number of nuclear weapons worldwide as well as the number of new nuclear-armed states. This announcement puts those gains in jeopardy and weakens collective action on non-proliferation. Progress on reducing the threat from nuclear weapons will come through dialogue, diplomacy and principled action. The Government's announcement today will complicate rather than aid this process.
“The entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition n of Nuclear Weapons is an encouraging development. As people of faith, we join with millions across the world who are working towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals. Living up to our responsibilities under the Non-Proliferation Treaty would be a step towards realising that vision. We believe that 'Global Britain' should strive for peaceful and cooperative international relationships, and joint endeavour on climate change, global poverty and other challenges. This announcement takes us in a worrying and wholly wrong direction."
- Among campaigning organisations to speak out, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) UK partners, says that today's announcement of a dramatic increase in the UK nuclear arsenal reverses Britain's longstanding principles and commitments to non-proliferation, disarmament and international security.