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Poll shows opposition to spending on Trident replacement

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed a MORI poll commissioned by Greenpeace which demonstrates that a majority of the British public wo uld oppose the replacement of Trident when presented with the cost. The poll also shows how dangerously out of touch UK nuclear policy is with popular feeling as the vast majority of those polled opposed nuclear first strike and using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states. The poll represents a boost to CND’s call for a proper debate on the issue and its campaign to prevent Trident replacement. When asked the relatively neutral question: \"Do you think the Government should replace its nuclear weapons or not?\" a narrow majority of 46 per cent agree that it should not, while 44 per cent believe it should. And 10 per cent don\'t know. However, the result is radically different when interviewees are told that the cost of a replacement is likely to be around £25bn or the equivalent of building about 1,000 schools. Then, the number of people supporting replacement drops to one in three - 33 per cent - while those opposing replacement rises to 54 per cent. When asked whether they approved of the Government using nuclear weapons against a country we were at war with but had not deployed its nuclear force, 72 per cent of respondents disapproved, a clear rejection of the \"first-strike\" principle to which the Government is wed. The figure rises to 84 per cent in relation to countries which do not have nuclear weapons. Only in the case of a country which has used nuclear weapons against Britain does a slim majority - 53 per cent - approve, with a significant 37 per cent still disapproving. Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear said, These results clearly show that not only is there a strong demand for a full national debate on this question, but also that the option of NOT replacing Trident must be on the table. The government must also take a strong message from the British people on its current nuclear policy. Whereas our government talks of using nuclear weapons in a first strike capacity, even against non-nuclear weapons states, the poll could not be clearer about the views of the British people: there is an overwhelming - and increased - majority opposed to nuclear first strike against both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states. The British public understands that money would be better spent on defeating poverty at home and abroad, and providing for employment, education and health. Clearly the British public has made moral and humane advances while our government has not.