To the British government,
We are a collective of youth and student groups in Britain. We believe the Trident nuclear weapons system should be scrapped, and plans for its replacement abandoned. We want Britain to be a country free from nuclear weapons, and we call upon the British government to respect the wishes of our generation.
Countless governments have created a legacy that has affected our lives in many different ways and the renewal of Trident is no different. Now as members of society we have the right for our voices to be heard. We The Movement for the Abolition of War Youth, stand together in objection to the further renewal of Trident. We take responsibility to act with and for future generations as previous generations have influenced the world in which we grew up. Cuts in public services that help us all in the UK, regardless of wealth or status, will continue to have profound effects on us all. So why is the government spending billions of pounds on weaponry that is unstable? The use of which is indiscriminate and the possession of which is unnecessary. The promise of ‘mass destruction’ from biological and chemical weapons only satisfies the power hungry in their cravings for complete domination. Their destruction transcends borders, eliminates lives and scars the environment. The development of these sorts of ‘defences’ are wasteful in the current political climate and the technology itself becomes out-dated almost as soon as they are manufactured. The Movement for the Abolition of War Youth are against renewal of Trident because we want a future that is progressive, peaceful and secure. We have suffered the most war-intensive decades ever known and the renewal of Trident obstructs our goal – we will not leave a similar legacy for future generations.
Yn yr oes sydd ohoni, does dim synnwyr buddsoddi can biliwn o bunnoedd yn adnewyddu system arfau niwclear Trident. Mae gwladwriaethau fel yr Almaen a Gwledydd Sgandinafia yn medru ffynnu heb system arfau niwlcear. Dyma wladwriaethau sydd yn buddsoddi’n sylweddol yn y wladwriaeth lês, mewn strwythrau trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus ac mewn addysg a diwylliant. Gwella’r strwythyrau hyn sy’n mynd i daclo problem mwyaf dybryd ein cymdeithas, sef anghyfiawnder cymdeithasol, nid buddsoddi mewn arfau marwol na ddylai gael eu defnyddio.
In this day and age, it makes no sense to invest a hundred billion pounds replacing the Trident nuclear arms system. States such as Germany and the Scandinavian countries can prosper without a nuclear arms system. These states invest substantially in the welfare state, in public transport infrastructure and in education and culture. Improving these structures is the way to tackle our society’s most serious problem of social injustice, not investing in lethal arms that should not be used.
Student Christian Movement support scrapping Trident because we are committed to nurturing the kind of society which we believe God wants to build – a society based on compassion, community, and peace. Replacing Trident would affirm all the things in our society which hinder this vision. By living out of fear, clinging onto power by threat of violence, and nurturing disregard for human lives, we would be creating a society which is neither sustainable nor just. On top of this, in order to fund the Trident replacement, resources are being diverted from people who are in desperate need. Jesus emphasised our duty to the poor, the sick, and the marginalised, and we feel that this should be reflected in our national spending priorities.
As young Quakers we feel it is abhorrent that the UK should have the capacity to use nuclear weapons. We recognise that people with opposing views on Trident renewal can value life and the pursuit of peace. However, we believe that renewing Trident would be a step back from the pursuit of a peaceful world and, in its destructiveness, disregards that of God in every person. Renewing Trident would not provide any meaningful political status, and we believe that the UK should foster cooperative relationships with other countries rather than threaten them. As young adults, this decision could affect us for the rest of our lives. We feel that the UK’s resources should go into something that sustains life, rather than destroys it. We urge the government not to recommission Trident and to focus on peaceful approaches to national security and conflict resolution.
The Young Greens oppose the replacement of Trident because we believe it’s a waste of money, it’s outdated, and ultimately it doesn’t keep us safe. Trident’s replacement will cost over £100 billion over its lifetime – and with that money, we could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for 40 years, or cancel tuition fees for 4 million students. And that money will be wasted, because nuclear weapons are not relevant to the threats we face today: in its last security review, the Ministry of Defence downgraded the threat of state-on-state nuclear attack and upgraded things like terrorism and cyber-warfare. We live in a world of complex threats, and spending increasing proportions of our defence budget on nuclear weapons we’ll never use leaves our conventional forces unequipped to respond to those threats. It’s clear, too, that the UK has a duty to lead the way in creating a nuclear-free world, and the only way to do that is full nuclear disarmament.
With students facing rising costs of tuition fees and increasing cuts to education, Youth and Student CND stands strongly against renewing Trident. The £205 billion proposed to be spent on renewing our anachronistic nuclear weapons would be far better spent on reinstating EMA; a vital lifeline to education for students from low income households, eradicating extortionate tuition fees so that no young people face barriers to access higher education, and avoiding cuts to maintenance grants. As well as this, even military officers acknowledge that nuclear weapons are ‘completely useless’ against the security threats that face our modern world, such as terrorism and cyber espionage. Youth and Student CND unites with fellow youth and student groups in fully opposing the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
Please do all you can to prevent the replacement of Trident, and to make Britain nuclear weapon-free
- Movement for the Abolition of War Youth
- Plaid Ifanc
- Student Christian Movement
- Young Friends General Meeting,
- Young Greens,
- Youth and Student CND
What you can do
- Share this letter. You can use this template post on social media:
- A youth & student collective call on the government to #ScrapTrident | Share their letter #youthagainstTrident https://youthagainsttrident.wordpress.com/
- Whether you’re a young person/student or not, make an appointment with your MP, and take our letter with you! If you’re unable to do that, send the letter to your MP, or Tweet it at them. We want all MPs to take the views of younger people – those who will have to live with this decision for the next generation – into account. Find your MP here.
- If you’re a student or young person, tell us why you want to #ScrapTrident, and use the hashtag #youthagainstTrident, so we can follow your tweets! Here’s an example!