Green Party MEP Jean Lambert has urged George Osborne to use the budget to scrap the UK’s nuclear weapons programme – and use the estimated £100 bn – or £6.6m a day – of ongoing spending it would free up to reverse cuts to local councils, Legal Aid and benefits – and invest in education, the NHS, and job creation.
Ms Lambert said the use of the UK’s nuclear weapons would be illegal under international law, cause millions of deaths and unprecedented destruction to wildlife – and serve no useful diplomatic or foreign relations purpose.
She said the Trident programme, estimated to cost as much as £100 bn (1), was ‘a drain on resources‘.
“Just this month, for example, the Government ‘casually’ agreed to spend an extra £270m on repairing and refitting nuclear submarines making up the Trident system (2) – that’s more than five time the £50m in cuts from the Legal Aid budget,” she said.
“Cuts in public services – and public servants’ wages – aren’t inevitable: they are a policy choice.
“Greens believe the Government should make a different choice: starting with a commitmentto abandon its costly, pointless and dangerous nuclear weapons arsenal.”