Tag Archives: cuts

Statement on Liam Fox’s approval for work to start on Trident replacement

24 May 2011, International Women’s Day for Disarmament

UK Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has recently announced approval for the early phase of design of the Trident nuclear armed submarine that will continue the UK’s deployment of nuclear weapons “well into the 2060s.” The main-build decision is not scheduled until 2016, but the UK has initiated work on detailed design and procurement.

Despite admitting that no state currently threatens the independence of the UK, Dr Fox considers that a major threat might re-emerge in the next 50 years.

“The time is simply not right,” he said, to do away with nuclear weapons.

UK WILPF disagrees: as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, the UK Government has an obligation to nuclear disarmament. Every investment in the continued nuclear capability is a violation of this commitment. WILPF and many others view these weapons as a liability that generate fear and create insecurity. They desire that they should never be inflicted on any country, as target or host.

At a time of economic crisis, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) estimates that replacing the Trident submarines is likely to cost around £26 billion. According to the Fawcett Society, independent analysis of the 2010 budget shows that it is women who will bear the brunt of planned cuts, with 72% of the savings identified in the budget coming from women’s pockets. Cuts of benefit that more women than men rely on are indicated. The public sector pay freeze will also hit women disproportionally as 65% of public sector workers are women. We recognise that as costs of Trident escalate, cuts will go deeper.

The democratic deficit in Scotland’s enforced complicity in hosting these illegal, immoral, devastatingly wasteful and dangerous weapons has long been a cause for anger and resentment.

Following its landslide election, the SNP Scottish Government has announced its intention of calling on the UK to remove all nuclear weapons from Scottish soil. This could begin the process that will lead to global nuclear disarmament and is a call that will gain the support of many Governments in the international community.

Call for action

We are calling on concerned citizens to protest against the UK Government’s decision to upgrade and deploy nuclear weapons.

Here are some suggestions on actions you can take:

Additional resources


March for the Alternative

WILPF banner at the March for the Alternative demonstrationWILPF had a strong presence at the large March for the Alternative demonstration on Saturday 26 March 2011 against the governments spending cuts and cuts to public services.

You get what you pay for. From cuts to child benefit and tax credits, to cuts to Sure Start children’s centres, to cuts to sexual and reproductive health services, to cuts to women’s jobs, the cuts will have a disproportionate and unfair impact on women.

There is an alternative. An alternative where human security defines spending priorities, where health care is considered more important than nuclear weapons, where social services are more important than tanks and bombs and we invest in sustainable and equitable economic growth that will generate the prosperity for the long-term.