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Welcome for Key Nuclear Weapon Status Report

Bill Kidd MSP, chair of the Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament, has given a warm welcome to the publication by Scottish Scottish CND of the UK chapter of the Reaching Critical Will1 report “Assuring Destruction Forever.”

Bill said: "I welcome the publication and launch of 'Assuring Destruction Forever.' The UK Chapter of this study was edited and led by a respected friend and fellow disarmament practitioner- Janet Fenton. In this chapter, Fenton persuasively dismantles prevailing deterrence ideology and lays its contradictions bare. I highly recommend this report to those looking to develop an in-depth understanding of the UK's posture towards disarmament and why a new way forward must be embraced for the sake of strengthening our collective peace and security."

Janet Fenton's work covers the status of the UK's nuclear weapon system, and forms the UK chapter in the global report, which is a guide for diplomats and elected representatives worldwide on the activities of the nine nuclear armed states, with the upcoming Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty particularly in mind. The UK chapter builds directly on the highly regarded research conducted by the late John Ainslie, formerly Co-ordinator of Scottish CND.

Lynn Jamieson, Chair of Scottish CND said: “It is only appropriate that the UK chapter of an international report on the ‘modernisation’ of nuclear weapons is authored by a vice-chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; the sole base of the UK nuclear weapon system is in Scotland. Modernisation is a chilling word for the planned new ways of taking us closer to assured destruction forever; Scotland may yet play a key part in dismantling the UK’s part in the new nuclear threats. If Scotland becomes an independent country, the UK’s nuclear weapon system will have nowhere to go. Genuine security will be the priority, through ensuring food, housing, health and education for all in Scotland and through signing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in international solidarity with the majority world.”

Janet Fenton said: “Many of the diplomats who will attend the NPT Review Conference at the United Nations share the view widely held in Scotland that that we would all be a lot safer without nuclear weapons anywhere. John Ainslie's research laid bare the truth that even the colossal bill being paid by the sick and the poor for nuclear weapons modernisation in the UK is inadequate. Now, evidence from scientists, academics and the Government's own records show that the nuclear weapons programme is hopelessly behind schedule with a budget that is running out of control. These are facts that need to be addressed as new difficulties, exacerbated by Brexit and COVID, will almost certainly mean flagrantly cutting corners and ignoring risk assessments. The questions raised should cause the UK to consider the economically and environmentally responsible alternative to their current patriarchal and imperialistic position of power and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”

1Reaching Critical Will is the disarmament programme of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) reachingcriticalwill.org