The Green Party is deeply concerned by reports that the United States intends once again to station nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath – a US-controlled airbase in Suffolk.
We share the widespread condemnation which was expressed when Russia recently placed some of its tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus.
We believe there should be the same concern about escalating the threat of nuclear conflict when the US upgrades its nuclear weapons in bases across Europe, and we are strongly opposed to those weapons coming to the UK.
The NATO plan is to replace older US free fall nuclear bombs, held in bases across Europe, with guided bombs. Now the UK is set to join Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey in hosting these weapons.
There is already great concern about the safety and logic of keeping US nuclear bombs in Turkey, which has no aircraft capable of carrying them, and which has been at odds with NATO policy on a number of issues in recent years.
In the other four European countries slated to get the new weapons, an opinion poll in 2019 showed that the majority of the populations wished their Governments to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons and to remove US bombs from their territory.
US nuclear bombs were stored at Lakenheath for more than five decades but were removed in 2008.
During that period we came very close to nuclear disaster on two occasions, simply through accidents, with an official document saying that 'part of Eastern England could have become a desert.'
The British public does not want these weapons here. An opinion poll conducted by YouGov at the end of August 2023 showed that 50 per cent of the 3,500 people asked did not want US Nuclear Weapons based in this country. Only 23 per cent were in favour.
With NATO members not only failing to honour their promises under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to wind down nuclear weapons, but in fact reinforcing their nuclear capacity, the public needs to be informed, and an honest discussion should take place about the implications. There are currently no plans to discuss the issue in Parliament.
Placing tactical nuclear weapons on British soil once again puts our country on the front line as tensions increase between Russia and NATO. The world is at a nuclear crisis point not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lowering the nuclear danger right now is vital.
The Green Party strongly condemns and opposes the plans to place US nuclear bombs in our country. We align ourselves with European Greens in calling for these weapons to be removed from other European countries, along with Russian nuclear bombs from Belarus, as a vital step towards nuclear disarmament and a safer future.