Church welcomes Brown's plans on nuclear weapons

By staff writers
March 18, 2009

The Methodist Church has welcomed news that Gordon Brown has pledged to consider cutting Britain’s nuclear arsenal.

The UK will begin to scale back its stockpile of nuclear warheads if Russia and the US agree to new reductions, the prime minister said yesterday.

Speaking to scientists and diplomats from 37 countries at Lancaster House in London, Gordon Brown said that as one of the six nations with confirmed nuclear capability the UK had to show the lead by striking "a global bargain".

The next international five-yearly proliferation review conference is due next year.

In response to the news that Britain will be hosting the conference of recognised nuclear weapons states, Policy Adviser Steve Hucklesby said; “We welcome the Prime Minister’s intention to negotiate a road map to disarmament by all nuclear states.

“Russia and the US have between them hundreds of tonnes of weapons-grade uranium in their nuclear arsenals. In comparison, the UK nuclear weapons system is tiny and the possibility of reducing this further is welcome. However, the only offer that other nuclear states are likely to note is a complete decommissioning of all UK nuclear weapons. This would save the UK over £20 billion in investment on new nuclear submarines, an investment that simply does not make sense in a time of economic crisis.

“Nuclear powers must show that they are committed to the decommissioning of all nuclear weapons. This move is vital for global security. Only then will we be able to dissuade non-nuclear states from joining the nuclear weapons club.”

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