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    Protesters hold placards against nuclear weapons during a rally against the Trident nuclear program in the center of Glasgow, Scotland, on April 4, 2015.

    Hiroshima Anniversary: Brits Rally to Scrap Trident Nuclear Program

    © AFP 2019 / Andy Buchanan
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    There is a growing push in the UK for the government to abandon its nuclear deterrent system, known as Trident, with leading political figures using the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima atom bomb tragedy to warn against the use of nuclear weapons.

    Leading the charge is Labor party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who has set out plans for nuclear disarmament in the UK. 

    Teaming up with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Corbyn has said that if he were to become Labor leader, and ultimately prime minister, he would not renew the country’s $155 billion (£100 billion) Trident nuclear weapon system and would transition away from nuclear weapons altogether.

    #NOMOREHIROSHIMASOn the 70th anniversary of the #Hiroshima bombing, take a minute to join us in saying…

    Posted by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on Thursday, August 6, 2015

    In a document titled 'Plan for Defense Diversification', Corbyn has set out plans to diversify Britain’s defense sector by investing in “socially productive” projects to ensure that those currently working on Trident don’t lose their jobs.

    "We are making the case for a defense diversification agency because we have a moral duty, and strategic defense and international commitments, to make Britain and the world a safer place," the document reads.

    "As a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Britain should therefore give a lead in discharging its obligations by not seeking a replacement for Trident, as we are committed to accelerate concrete progress towards nuclear disarmament."

    "Senior military figures have described our existing nuclear weapons as 'militarily useless' and our possession of them encourages other countries to seek a similar arsenal while undermining the efforts being made to advance the cause of international nuclear disarmament."

    Campaigners hold an inflatable during a protest in front of the Trident submarine fleet naval base in Faslane, Scotland
    © AFP 2019 / MAURICE MCDONALD
    Campaigners hold an inflatable during a protest in front of the Trident submarine fleet naval base in Faslane, Scotland

    Scotland to 'Take a Stand'

    On top of Mr Corbyn’s campaign and the CND’s push for nuclear disarmament, the Scottish National Party (SNP) have also called for the scrapping of the UK’s Trident program, particularly given that the submarines are based at the Clyde Naval Base on the Scottish west coast.

    Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) Bill Kidd, who is addressing an event in Edinburgh on Thursday, said that the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki must be used as a reminder of the "incomparable devastation" that nuclear weapons are capable of inflicting, adding that "it is time for the international community to come together and agree that this must never be allowed to happen again".

    He said the British political establishment was "out of touch" when it came to supporting the renewal of projects such as Trident.

    "The idea that the UK Government thinks it is acceptable to base their nuclear weapons stockpile just thirty miles from Scotland’s largest population center [Glasgow] is as dangerous as it is unacceptable."

    "By taking a stand on these immoral, destructive and abhorrent weapons of mass destruction we can set a powerful example on the world stage – with the potential to influence others and set the agenda across the globe."

    The British parliament is expected to vote next year on whether to renew the country’s Trident nuclear deterrent system, which is made up of four submarines armed with ballistic missiles.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) visits the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland on April 4, 2013.
    © AFP 2019 /
    British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) visits the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland on April 4, 2013.

    While the current government under David Cameron has backed $155 billion (£100 billion) plans to renew Trident, activists and opposition groups have argued that doing so would merely ramp up international tensions, while the extensive cost of the project could be better spent elsewhere.

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    Tags:
    nuclear disarmament, nuclear deterrence, defense, security, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Jeremy Corbyn, Scotland, United Kingdom
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