DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .
An article by Rachel Cordery from Cherwell
Oxford City Council has called on the British Government to sign the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The resolution, proposed by Councillor John Tanner, was agreed “overwhelmingly” by the City Council on Monday [January 27].
Before backing the Treaty, the City Council want the UK government to renounce its use of nuclear weapons and end the renewal of Trident.
Cllr Tanner said: “Replacing Trident missiles is costing Britain a huge £205 billion, twice the cost of the high-speed rail line, HS2.
“Nuclear weapons are costly, outdated and ineffective. Most countries, including Ireland, Germany and Japan, manage perfectly well without them.”
“I’m thrilled that Oxford is backing this treaty to begin scrapping these weapons of mass-destruction. If there was ever a nuclear war the world would be plunged into perpetual winter and the survivors would all starve to death,” he added after the meeting.
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Cllr Maryn Rush, who seconded the resolution, said: “I am concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayers of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.”
Britain has four nuclear-armed submarines, each with eight missiles, each of which carries five independent nuclear warheads. Each warhead is eight times more destructive than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Mr Nigel Day, representing Oxford’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), spoke to councillors before the resolution was debated. He said: “Trident warhead convoys regularly travel past Oxford on the A34, supporting the UK nuclear weapons system. We are that close to nuclear weapons.”
The resolution, which had been proposed in September 2019, focused on the City Council’s long-standing commitment to disarmament. It reads: “Oxford City Council has been a long-standing member of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) which has been working for over three decades to promote multilateral nuclear disarmament.
“Oxford City Council is particularly concerned about the huge cost to the taxpayer of nuclear weapons, the risk posed by the regular transport of nuclear weapons on Oxfordshire’s roads and the continuing threat of nuclear war.
“NFLA has worked with Mayors for Peace and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to promote the International Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Over two thirds (122) of United Nations member states have agreed the TPNW.
“Council regrets that the Governments of the existing nuclear-weapon states, including the UK, refuse to support the Treaty. Council fully supports the TPNW as one of the most effective ways to bring about long-term and verifiable multilateral nuclear disarmament.”
With 122 nations supporting the treaty, Paris, Berlin, Sydney and Los Angeles are among the other cities supporting the TPNW. More locally, Manchester, Edinburgh and Norwich have passed similar resolutions to Oxford.