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Writing a Letter to the Editor

 If you would like to write to a local newsletter or magazine to celebrate the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but you’re not quite sure what to say, or how best to explain it to people who aren’t normally involved in nuclear disarmament work, we have put together a template letter which you are welcome to use or adapt. Please feel free to copy this (highlight the text you want and press ctrl + c, or right click on it and press Copy) into a document of your own, put a personal touch on it if you want to, and send it on its way!

Letter to the Editor:

Friday 22 January marks the beginning of the end for nuclear weapons. Bells will be ringing across the nation at 12 noon when the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force, and many of us will be standing on our doorsteps with bells and whistles to make a noise in celebration.

The Treaty comprehensively bans nuclear weapons among the countries that have ratified it - 51 so far, with many more to come, as over 80 countries have completed the first stage of signing the Treaty.

Scotland can’t sign the Treaty just now. The UK Government speaks for us at the UN, so we are held hostage to the UK’s deadly commitment to maintaining these weapons of mass murder at Faslane; which also means enduring them being driven up and down the Scottish Borders in unmarked lorries, on their maintenance trips to Aldermaston.

The UK’s strategy of stationing all their nuclear weapons in Scotland places our population at immense risk. Let’s not kid ourselves that nuclear security measures are immune to human error. Remember the reports we heard this autumn, of the nuclear commander who showed up drunk to work with a bag of chicken? Or of the inevitable COVID-19 outbreak at Faslane in December? And as for deliberate hostilities, for as long as we have nuclear weapons here, Scotland is vulnerable to terrorist attacks and acts of war that target the UK’s nuclear capacity.

Worst of all, while we host the UK’s killer submarines, it makes Scotland an unwilling but undeniable participant in one of only nine nuclear regimes around the world. International opinion condemns these nuclear-armed states. So too do our own consciences. A clear majority of Scots want no part of the UK’s nuclear programme, making the nuclear base at Faslane one of the greatest obscenities of our time.

So we look forward to the day when Scotland ratifies the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Even if it takes independence from the UK for Scotland to be able to do so in its own right, we are convinced of the moral and humanitarian case against nuclear weapons.  The Treaty  provides a clear legal framework, as well as powerful international solidarity, for Scotland to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.

And when that happens, we have every reason to believe it could finally put an end to the UK’s nuclear regime. If Scotland – with a clear popular mandate, support from the majority of UN states and  the full backing of international law – expels the nuclear weapons we’re currently forced to hold, where will the UK put them? What community, knowing what we know now, would accept nuclear weapons being forced upon them? We look forward with hope to a time when Scotland is able to shake the whole foundation of the UK’s nuclear programme and pull the thread that unravels the whole deadly regime once and for all.



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