Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Transparent Holidays from the UK Ministry of Defence

ICAN-UK reports that the UK government has quietly - almost secretly - sold its last remaining shares in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) to the US company Jacobs Engineering Group. This now means that Britain no longer has any stake in the production of its Trident nuclear warheads and that all production, design, and decommissioning of nuclear weapons in the UK is privately owned, with US companies having a majority stake.

The issue here is not so much selling UK nuclear security to the US - that was done long ago when London became Washington's attack dog - but once again violating the NPT by sharing nuclear technology.

The government's response is that it's "the UK government, not AWE, that sets the UK's nuclear policy." There's still the matter of the NPT.

And in a related issue, the UK Ministry of Defence has chosen the holiday season to announce plans to build an AWE facility at Burghfield, Reading, Berkshire. The local council has generously granted anyone opposed the opportunity to make their voices known by January 6th. They may review documents, plans etc. at West Berkshire Council offices 6 days AFTER the announcement, released on Friday December 19th to ensure the time loss of the weekend before people react.

So, that means as of December 25th, a holiday, folks can gather pertinent information to oppose the plan. Of course, December 26th is also a holiday. And December 27th and 28th are a weekend. So, everyone will have to rush in on December 29th & 30th before things shut down for the New Year and no doubt reopen again on Monday January 5th - one day before the deadline.

They're so transparent in their lack of transparency.