Krista van Velzen joins British parliamentarians at Scots nuclear base

4 January 2007

Krista van Velzen joins British parliamentarians at Scots nuclear base

On Monday SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen will join British fellow parliamentarians in their efforts to blockade a nuclear weapons base in Scotland. The action is in protest against prime minister Tony Blair's plans to acquire a new fleet of atomic submarines at a cost of £40bn (about €60bn/$75bn) “We in Europe should not be ensuring ever more weapons of mass destruction, but working towards their dismantling,” said Ms Van Velzen.

Krista van VelzenThe SP Member of Parliament will be attending the protest at the invitation of Members of the Scottish Parliament and UK national parliament from a range of parties including Labour, the Scottish Nationalist Party, Scottish Socialist Party and Plaid Cymru/the Party of Wales. The action, dubbed ‘Faslane 365’, forms part of a relay in which, over 365 days, a number of different groups are passing the baton of the blockade of the naval base at Faslane, the home of the British Trident nuclear submarine. Since 1st October 2006 students, church groups, environmental activists, development organisations and trade unions have taken their turn. The blockade is regularly broken up by the police, and to date 408 people have been arrested. On Monday dozens of British MPs and Euro-MPs along with Scottish MSPs will block the main entrance to the base.

“The majority of Scots do not want nuclear-armed submarines in their waters,” said Van Velzen. “Despite this, Blair wants to modernise the whole nuclear fleet, without doing anything to scale down the arsenal of nuclear weapons in line with his country's commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British are sailing twenty-four hours a day through Northern Hemisphere waters carrying weapons of mass destruction with an explosive capacity 400 times greater than the bomb which destroyed Hiroshima, while the Americans are doing the same in the Southern Hemisphere. How can the West speak with any moral authority to a country like Iran or North Korea?

“In the UK there is a real debate going on about nuclear weapons. In the Netherlands the standard answer to every question about NATO's nuclear weapons on the air force base at Volkel is that their presence there can be neither confirmed nor denied. It's time we finally had a debate on weapons of mass destruction in the Netherlands. The opinion of the Dutch people should be properly taken into account.”


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