14 March 2007

Churches denounce Trident vote

Leaders from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have expressed deep concern over Parliament's call to replace the Trident Nuclear Weapons System.

Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice for the Methodist Church said; 'This seriously undermines the UK's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and the extent of the backbench rebellion demonstrates that many feel passionately that the Government has got this decision wrong. The Government promised a full public debate but instead this early vote in the House of Commons has rushed the discussion while crucial questions remain unanswered.'

Graham Sparkes, Head of Faith and Unity for the Baptist Union said; 'The use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable. Rather than invest a vast amount of public money in a system that it can never be right to use, the Government ought to be making clear commitments to peacemaking. Trident can never provide the UK with any real security.'

Stuart Dew, Secretary for Church and Society, the United Reformed Church commented: 'We are deeply disappointed at the call to renew Trident. The Government has ignored the global demand to rid the world of nuclear weapons, claiming that it is acceptable for some states to hold them while for others it is not. This is a commitment to injustice over peace.'

The three Churches made a joint submission to the Defence Committee, arguing that the Government has not fully addressed the security risks associated with a renewal of Trident. They state that it is vital to control the proliferation of weapons technology and they raise concerns over the Government's claim that Trident might provide protection against state-sponsored nuclear terrorism.

Representatives from the Churches were present at the rally in Parliament Square, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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