Churches denounce Trident vote

Leaders from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the MethodistChurch and the United Reformed Church have expressed deep concernover Parliament's call to replace the Trident Nuclear WeaponsSystem.

Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and SocialJustice for the Methodist Church said; 'This seriously underminesthe UK's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and the extent ofthe backbench rebellion demonstrates that many feel passionatelythat the Government has got this decision wrong. The Governmentpromised a full public debate but instead this early vote in theHouse of Commons has rushed the discussion while crucial questionsremain unanswered.'

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

Stuart Dew, Secretary for Church and Society, the United ReformedChurch commented: 'We are deeply disappointed at the call to renewTrident. The Government has ignored the global demand to rid theworld of nuclear weapons, claiming that it is acceptable for somestates to hold them while for others it is not. This is acommitment to injustice over peace.'

The three Churches made a joint submission to the DefenceCommittee, arguing that the Government has not fully addressed thesecurity risks associated with a renewal of Trident. They statethat it is vital to control the proliferation of weapons technologyand they raise concerns over the Government's claim that Tridentmight provide protection against state-sponsored nuclearterrorism.

Representatives from the Churches were present at the rally inParliament Square, organised by the Campaign for NuclearDisarmament.