To coincide with the #StopTrident march on Saturday 27th February 2016, leading UK health professionals wrote a letter in The Telegraph calling on the UK government to back international efforts to establish a treaty banning nuclear weapons, and to halt the renewal of Trident.
We are inviting nurses, doctors and others to sign-on to this letter.
Please add your name below to help grow the opposition to the renewal of nuclear weapons in the UK.
SIR – In all the debate about renewing Trident submarines, there is little or no discussion about the potential humanitarian impact of the nuclear missiles they would be carrying.
The explosion of less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s current nuclear weapons in a limited, regional nuclear war would disrupt the global climate and could lead to more than a billion people round the world facing starvation.
With more than 1,000 nuclear warheads on high alert across the world and all nine nuclear-armed nations investing heavily in the modernisation of their arsenals, it is clear that there are continuing risks from the use of nuclear weapons.
The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty pledges that Britain will “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”. The International Red Cross Red Crescent movement, the World Medical Association and other health organisations have called for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons because they contravene humanitarian law and pose unacceptable risks to humanity.
Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not explicitly prohibited in international law. A clear majority of countries has now pledged to fill this legal deficit, and a UN working group has begun meeting to advance this goal.
We urge Parliament to back these international efforts to establish a treaty banning nuclear weapons, and to halt the renewal of Trident. Our possession of nuclear weapons will not keep us and the world safe. Instead, we should release billions of pounds and create international political capital that would allow us to address today’s real security threats, including climate change, poverty and terrorism.
Signatories: Dr David McCoy, Professor Sir Andrew Haines, Dr Clare Gerada, Dr Margaret McCartne, Dr Richard Horton, Dr June Crown, Professor Sir Edward Dillwyn Williams, Professor Stuart Logan, Professor Catherine Law, Dr Helen Zealley, Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Sir Iain Chalmers, Dr Sheila Adam, Dr Iona Heath, Professor John Yudkin, Dr John Chisolm, Dr Frank Boulton, Professor John Middleton