ICAN responds to Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis speeches on nuclear disarmament

September 26, 2016

Responding to the news, announced by Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis, that multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations will be a priority for their party, Matt Hawkins, Project Officer for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons UK, said:

“Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis’ joint commitment to international negotiations for nuclear disarmament can be welcomed. This year UN nations were meeting to discuss a ban on nuclear weapons but the British government chose to boycott those historic talks. If negotiations begin next year as expected, Britain must be there and doing its bit to make progress towards a monumental ban. We cannot pursue the same isolationist stance adopted by the present government.

“Engagement with disarmament talks at an international level should not be seen by the government – or by Labour – however, as a get-out clause for failing to take a lead and scrap our own nuclear arsenal. We are disappointed that Mr Lewis appears to have backtracked on his former commitment to do away with Trident and we hope that this will form part of their plans to engage with multilateral talks at the UN – talks which have gained a much improved status in recent years. The prospects for a ban are now tantalising and it is possible that such a treaty will give Lewis and Labour the tool they need to achieve the ultimate goal: the elimination of Britain’s nuclear arsenal.”

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