Decommissioning Trident nuclear weapons would be popular with voters and supported by a majority of candidates standing in the general election, luminaries from music, the arts and the legal world have claimed.
Among the signatories to the open letter – which suggests that Britain should become the first member of the UN security council to give up nuclear weapons – are comedian Frankie Boyle, Mercury prizewinning band Young Fathers, the former president of the Royal Society, Sir Michael Atiyah, and lawyer and Labour peer Baroness Kennedy. They write: “The election campaign to date suggests that decommissioning Trident nuclear weapons is a dangerous, minority demand led by the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru.
However, signatories to the letter, who also include the band Massive Attack, TV presenter Konnie Huq and award-winning novelist Kamila Shamsie, say that nuclear weapons make Britain a target for the disaffected while diverting resources away from “human and social needs”. They write: “We are spending limited resources on expensive illusions that keep us in thrall to the past. Why don’t we switch the funds to safe, economically advantageous green jobs that offer a sustainable, prosperous future?
“Britain should use its capacity for innovation by responding to real human and social needs … Continuing to invest in nuclear weapons is actively depleting military and other effective defences we might need in the 21st century. We should invest military spending on conflict prevention. By moving on from Trident we can more effectively serve the needs and the potential of our country and a changing world.”