Poll finds Europeans reject US nuclear weapons on own soil

By agency reporter
July 7, 2018

On the first anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), new YouGov polling commissioned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has found an overwhelming rejection of nuclear weapons. 

The poll was conducted in the four EU countries that host US nuclear weapons: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In each country, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed were in favour of removing the weapons from their soil, and for their countries to sign the Treaty that bans them outright. 
The survey found that in each country:

  • At least twice as many people are in favour of removing the weapons than keeping them.
  • At least four times as many people are in favour of their country signing the TPNW than not signing the TPNW.
  • At least four times as many people are against companies in their country investing in nuclear weapons activities than in favour of it. 
  • A strong majority of people are against NATO buying new fighter jets that are able to carry both nuclear weapons and conventional weapons. 

“In their totality, the survey results show a clear rejection of nuclear weapons by those Europeans who are on the frontline of any nuclear attack: those hosting American weapons on their soil. More than simply demonstrating a ‘not in my back yard’ mentality, Europeans are even more strongly in favour of a blanket ban of all nuclear weapons worldwide than they are against simply removing the weapons from their own soil,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN.

“The people of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy all know that these weapons are a massive humanitarian disaster in waiting, and they will be on the frontline”, Ms Fihn said. “That’s why on the first anniversary of the Treaty to ban all nuclear weapons we are standing with them to push NATO leaders at next week’s Brussels summit to forge a new NATO security that rejects nuclear weapons, in line with the democratic wishes of their constituents.”

This week marks the first anniversary of 122 nations adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on July 7th 2017. The landmark global treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. 

* The full poll results are available here

* International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons http://www.icanw.org

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