In case you are unaware, the seemingly inexorable plan to diminish our democracy forges ahead…

SWAN Admin:

A petition you can sign as well as the direct lobbying we’ve been encouraging!

Originally posted on Cumbria Trust:

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!!!

38degrees petition

On Wednesday the House of Lords under the Chair of Baroness Verma will be discussing  in Grand Committee in the Moses Room at 3.45pm the plan to push  through legislation that will remove our right, and the right of Cumbria County Council, to object to burying radioactive waste underground.

They hope to do this as soon as practically possible by adding GDFs (Geological Disposal Facilities) to the list of NSIPs (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects).   An NSIP would force through the what we believe to be the government’s plans to return to Cumbria in the search for a site for a GDF. This would of course deny communities the voice usually afforded to them via public enquiries.

The government hoped the Nuclear waste ‘problem’ was going to be solved by communities coming forward to volunteer to take the waste, now that plan has fallen by…

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#NoNukeDump

Please support us in this campaign to lobby parliament to get the governments draft order to turn Geological Disposal Facilities  into Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects stopped.

Here goes our attempt to make a step by step guide of how to lobby the lords over this draft order – Good luck!
P.S please forward this to anyone and everyone you think might be interested!
#nonukedump

We had this advice from our parliamentary advisor  to pass on to you all about lobbying the lords:

“It can be difficult to engage with Parliament when there is so much important information to get across and limited time and space to do it. Many organisations come up against the same issue, particularly when submitting evidence to Select Committees.”

Lords rarely oppose this kind of legislation (although there have been rare occasions over really controversial issues – so we need to lobby hard!).

So please read the following short guide carefully!

Step 1
Please take the letter that we’ve attached & personalise it so that it is not the same – say something about why you personally are concerned and how it may affect you.

Step 2
choose some lords to lobby

Lobbying tips
this one is good one about lobbying strategy although its from America what it is saying translates about how to choose who to lobby
http://www.ctnonprofits.org/policy/resources/basics

this is an interesting one although it is aimed at 3rd sector still some good advice
http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2013/05/24/lobbying-the-lords-10-tips-for-making-an-impact-in-the-upper-house/

this is a good one written by the Lords on how they like to be lobbied -note how they prefer personally written ones and what he says about how he deals with the mail he receives
http://lordsoftheblog.net/2011/09/16/lobbying-the-lords/

These are some of the lords we think might be worth lobbying – we’re looking up more all the time & will send out some more details as & when we can research them – it will be handy for future lobbying too ;-)
Baroness Tonge (LD) – nothing specific on energy, but has been progressive on other causes, and especially vocal on Palestine.   http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-tonge/200

Baroness Kramer – ‘The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd has awarded a financial grant to the Member to be used for a researcher and other assistance in developing and communicating policy on micro-finance and local banking (w.e.f. 1 September 2013)’.  Been on Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, also Small & Medium Enterprises Committee. http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-kramer/1557

Baroness Afshar – Crime, civil law, justice and rights.  Communities and families.  International affairs.  Women’s rights.  http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-afshar/3847

Lord McConnell Of Glenscorrodale – Lab
female equality racial equality children  progressive mcconnellj@parliament.uk
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-mcconnell-of-glenscorrodale/4168

Baroness Warsi – CON
walked out of gov due to their position on Gaza, has put pressure on G4S to withdraw from Israel, anti-trident, working class northern lass (her words)
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-warsi/3839
Lord Alton of Liverpool- catholic, big on international human rights, but quiet on the nuclear issue…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-alton-of-liverpool/738

Baroness Lister of Burtersett- lab
Professor at Loughborough university, very anti-austerity and antti-bedroom tax, quite young, anti -trident because of fund diversion from poor…

http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-lister-of-burtersett/4234

Lord Wallace of Saltaire-  libdem
academic in dept on international relationsm lib dem whip spokesperson, big on international human rights, quiet on nuclear…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-wallace-of-saltaire/1816

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead- labour,
well worth it  as holyhead is on anglesey so she should be at least a little up on nuclear issues!Human rights, works towards disarmament…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-kinnock-of-holyhead/3895

Lord Hannay of Chiswick- Cross  Bench (CB)
motioned the recent trident debate…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-hannay-of-chiswick/2167

Baroness Lady Williams of Crosby –  LD (Lib dem)
wrote report with Lord Hannay of Chiswick that drove the trident debate….
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-williams-of-crosby/740

We’re  just checking out the lords who already sit on All party parliamentary groups on nuclear energy & energy & will circulate these as soon as we’ve finished.

Step 3 send your letters/e-mails! (our letter is at the bottom of this guide)

Step 4 Get tweeting !
We will be attempting to make a twitter storm tomorrow – we are just working out the details about what time to do it & getting some sample tweets together but in the meantime make sure that you are flowwing @NoNukeDumping and @UKHouseofLords and use the hashtags #nonukedump

They can get a lot of mail which can overwhelm them with volume – better to personalise the letter and select one or two to send it to & for the rest of them get their twitter account names & tweet them about the debate encouraging them to attend & object to its passage get them to force it into chamber for a vote as they can’t vote in the Moses room!

please adapt the following letter to make it personal to you:

Please insert your address here

Re: Draft Infrastructure Planning
Radioactive Waste Geological Disposal Facilities Order 2015 – Draft Statutory Instrument
This Draft Statutory Instrument is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

On Jan 12th 2015 The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) laid this draft Order with an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) before Parliament. The Order will bring certain developments relating to geological disposal facilities (GDFs) for radioactive waste, and the deep borehole investigations necessary to determine the suitability of potential sites, within the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime in the Planning Act 2008.
On Wednesday 25th February 2015 this order is due to be debated in The House of Lords, the debate is due to take place in The Moses Room, at 3.45pm.
We are writing to ask you to attend this debate and to consider voting against the proposed order in it’s current form.
The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee found reason to report this draft Statutory Instrument to the House as a matter of public interest [2].
“on the ground that it gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.”
This order will remove from local planning Authorities, and their respective communities, the final say in the planning process. This will be in clear violation of the rights of the British people as defined under the Aarhus Convention. A disposal facility for Nuclear Waste is an Annex 1 facility under the convention [1].
The traditional public inquiry processes that previous new nuclear facilities have been subject to in the UK was a far more robust process appropriate to a modern democracy.
We believe delegating the decisions regarding the geological disposal of radioactive waste underground to the Secretary of State is un-democratic.
The D.E.C.C has not correctly reported the results of the recent consultation entitled “Review of the Siting Process for a Geological Disposal Facility”. The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee stated
“We would point out that, even by combining the percentage of respondents who “agreed” with that of respondents who “partly agreed”, no more than 49% of respondents agreed or partly agreed, and that this is also a minority of respondents. The EM would have given a more accurate picture of the results of consultation if it had made clear this relatively modest level of support for the proposal, as well as referring to minority disagreement.”
We believe the attempt of a government department (DECC) to mislead parliament over such an important issue is worthy of a government inquiry.
You will also note the relatively small number of respondents to this GDF – Siting Consultation (719) when contrasted with the public response to the Consultation on Proposal for Underground Access for the Extraction of Gas, Oil or Geothermal Energy. That consultation received in total 40,647 responses from individuals and organisations. In contrast, the public have been kept largely unaware of the plans for GDF as the ‘Managing Radioactive Waste Safely’ (MRWS,) process only consulted with the potential host community [3] and even here the consultation process was criticised as being too narrowly drawn. [4]
Abandoning the democratic process completely, by adopting the process for NSIP and excluding locally elected councillors, officers and removing the right for the public to scrutinise & participate will result in the British people having GDFs forced upon them.
The 2013 public consultation into the siting of a GDF document states:
“Any planning application will need to take account of community views where they are relevant – but there is no requirement for community support inherent in the planning process itself.”
Conversely the consultation then goes on to say:
“Through application of this voluntarism and partnership siting we would go further and require a demonstration of community support before development could proceed.”
These two statements are clearly at odds. The current plans to dispose of the waste are being hurried through for the sake of political expediency.

How can community support for such a scheme be demonstrated if the decision is taken out of the hands of the local layers of government and placed into the hands of the Secretary of State?
DECC claims that once it has made a GDF into NSIP that there will still be a voluntarist process with a right of withdrawal. However these two approaches are clearly mutually exclusive – you cannot have a community volunteering for something that is going to be imposed on them.
There have already been two processes to site a GDF in the UK, at considerable expense to the public.
Both processes were corrupted by political pressures [5] & [6].

Cumbrian councils, Allerdale and Copeland, were in favour of the governments more recent (MRWS) scheme, which came with the financial incentive of, “community benefits.” However, the pro-nuclear Cumbrian County Council declined the scheme based on the sound scientific evidence that proved it was unsafe. The agreement of all three tiers of local government is a cornerstone of the principles of a voluntarist approach.
We believe that existing nuclear waste should be stored in a retrievable manner at the surface, or near to the surface, in line with Scotland’s Higher Activity Radioactive Waste Policy 2011. Waste could then be monitored and managed appropriately without risk of exposure to water supplies, and without additional cause for concern for future generations.
We are also concerned about how communities are being defined for the purposes of this exercise especially since UKOOG has defined ‘community’ as perhaps being the sole tenant on any given site, this is clearly an unsatisfactory definition when there are such widespread far-reaching consequences for current generations and future generations.

The only operational facility for Nuclear Waste Management in the world; the ‘Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’ project in Carlsbad New Mexico, only receives ‘low-level’ radioactive wastes. A serious incident occurred on Feb 14th 2014 where radionuclides reached the surface and leaked into the surrounding area. W.I.P.P is still closed over a year later due to the widespread contamination which made it impossible to maintain the facilities. The geological disposal of low level radioactive waste is now causing ceiling collapse & exacerbating a variety of problems. W.I.P.P’s radioactive waste inventory is nowhere near as problematic as the waste inventory that the D.E.C.C is proposing to ‘dispose’ of here in the UK.
The first committee on radioactive waste management CoRWM1 report that endorsed GDFs was heavily caveated and was a recommendation for committed wastes only & not a proposal for wastes arising from New Build where they were very clear that new build wastes would require a separate investigation and recommendations.
It is absolutely not the case that the GDF research that informed CoRWM1’s recommendation dealt with issues arising from high burn up fuel, proposed for the Governments planned new generation of reactors.
There is no guarantee that a geological disposal facility can contain radionuclides long-term.

A scheme as crucial to the health and safety of our entire nation requires the full attention of every layer of community and government, and a high level of public awareness is essential.
The government’s solicitors, Pinsent Mason have recently hosted a “masterclass” on how to get a commercial application to join in decommissioning and waste disposal contracts classed as NSIP [7]. We find this somewhat alarming since the draft order in question has yet to be approved.

We ask the Lords to consider that this addition to the parent Act (2008 Planning Act) being used to designate GDF as NSIP is inappropriate and that there are not sufficient grounds to hand the responsibility of making such a huge decision over to the Secretary of State.

We urge you to consider that the only safe way of tackling the waste is with the best scientists, geologists and engineers were working in collaboration with independent experts and lay communities in a not-for-profit setting. The recent experience of the NMP (Nuclear Management Partnership) private consortium, who lost their contract at Sellafield, clearly demonstrates that profit-making and safety do not mix.

We ask you to intervene to prevent the progress of these plans which we feel sit outside of the law and are not in the best interests of the United Kingdom, it’s people, land and environments and all future generations as well as being a clear breach of the Aarhus convention. The inclusion of GDFs in the list of NSIPs is undemocratic, and unlikely to meet with favourable public opinion.
Yours sincerely,
Ms. Eleanor Bull – Cheshire
Dr. Becky Martin – Wiltshire
Mrs. Louise Somerville Williams – Somerset
Ms. Helz Cuppleditch – Sussex
Marianne Birkby – Cumbria
Nikki Clark – BSc Hons (open) Environmental Studies – Somerset
Founder Members of No Nuke Dumping
And on Behalf of:
Frack Free Somerset
Radiation Free Lakeland
Frack Free Families
SouthWest Against Nuclear
References:

1 – pg 19 http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/documents/cep43e.pdf
2 – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldsecleg/102/10203.htm#a1
3 – http://www.westcumbriamrws.org.uk/documents/326-PSE3_Evaluation_Report_November_2012.pdf
4 – https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/non-governmental-organisation-forum#minutes
5 – http://www.davidsmythe.org/nuclear/nirex%202005%20review%20of%201987-91_site_selection.pdf
6 – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/18/nuclear-waste-consultation-sellafield-radioactive
7 – http://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaeventHYPERLINKhttp://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaevent&id=1170″&HYPERLINKhttp://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaevent&id=1170″id=1170

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Nuclear Train Not Fit For Tracks!

Here is a very interesting & damning article from Cumbria about the dangerous state of the rail infrastructure carrying Britains deadliest cargo – Nuclear Waste…

Nuclear Train Not Fit For Tracks!.

Please Sign and share Important

Electricité de France (EdF), the French energy group, intends to build one of the largest nuclear power stations in the world at Hinkley Point, United Kingdom. However, this project would be commercially viable only on the basis of massive subsidies granted by the British government, which would clearly violate EU competition law. The past EU Commission has approved these nuclear subsidies at its last but one session.

This scandalous decision has the potential to trigger an avalanche of new nuclear power projects across Europe. The Austrian government is determined to take this case to the European Court of Justice, and EWS has lodged a formal complaint directly with the EU Commission.

Yet only if the pressure of European civil society surpasses the clout of nuclear lobbyists will we be able to prompt the newly appointed EU Commission to reverse this misguided decision. Any EU citizen is entitled to submit a complaint free of charge. Join our complaint now – or draft your own text – and join us in demanding: No Money for Nuclear Power – Stop Brussels! (Click here for background information about the campaign)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&v=8zZ18jdFv3U&x-yt-cl=84503534

Return to Sender

A group from the South West went to return nuclear waste to Hinkley Point today, in solidarity with the people of Cumbria.S7300035

They verified that there is definite construction work going on at Hinkley Point, as reported by the monthly Witch Watch .

S7300040

This work, we are told is still under the banner of preliminary works

An awful lot of lorries were going up and down them Somerset lanes this afternoon .

…..What about the legal challenges on the construction of Hinkley C?….and the contract is not signed yet……..

The whole thing is like a cheap obvious farce, there is no law that  this industry abides by.

Both G4S and construction workers are working on contaminated ground with no protection.

The site has been made into a complete mess

S7300079S7300090

Work  stopped for a few hours today, gates were closed and traffic pile ups were seen at gates…. people dressed in nuke waste barrels and Santa Claus costumes, wondered around the site singing :

“Return to sender, address unknown, No new killer, No nuclear zone!”S7300048

Some workers, on seeing the surreal entourage, suddenly dropped tools run behind a bigger fence and disappeared in a hut, replaced by dots of G4s  ….Santa inspected the abandoned field , and asserted, 2 diggers were left abandoned, tools were loosely strewn in the mud, ….. in the distance the destruction work continued ….S7300099

Will they , or won’t they get the investment to build the damned nuke plant…..one thing is for sure,  over 120 tons  of plutonium are stored at Sellafield  and  we keep making nuclear waste and sending it up to Cumbria like there is no tomorrow…….at this rate there won’t be.

S7300033S7300085

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Construction work has restarted at Hinkley Point

hinkley construction traffic 2hinkley construction traffic 1

Main construction work on the UK’s first nuclear power plant in a generation could begin as early as December. EDF also have a delegation in China negotiating contracts for the manufacture of pressure vessel and other key components.
Some of the largest diggers in Europe have been moved onto the Hinkley Point proposed C site and contractors have been told to prepare to start on site in December. Firms appointed to various roles on the mega-project include Laing O’Rourke, Bouygues, Costain, Kier, Bam Nuttall and Dean & Dyball, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty

However rumour is that EDF and the Chinese investors are falling out and Areva (the other state funded French nuclear firm) is collapsing…….


Dates for your diary
November

Saturday 22nd November

Nuclear Waste Train Action at Bridgewater Railway Station, 10.30–13.00. Contact: Jo Smoldon 01278 459099 or josephine.smoldon@virgin.net
Monday 24th November –
‘Beating the Bomb’, at the Truth Out Cinema, 18.00-20.00 at the Arts House Café, 108A Stokes Croft, BS1 3RU. Free entry but donations appreciated.
‘Beating the Bomb’ charts ‘The Bomb’ from 1941 to present day; juxtaposing the political backdrop against the growth of the peace movement and framing the nuclear weapons issue within the wider context of global justice.
There will be a Q&A after the showing with Nikki Clark of SWAN who is currently on trial for direct action against Trident.
Thursday 27th November
– “Get Nukes Off Campus … Out of Britain …. Banned Worldwide”. Two open meetings in Bristol with Rebecca Johnson, Vice-president of CND, University of Bristol Physics graduate & long-time anti-nuclear activist
17.00–18.30 at University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Room 3C01
Followed by
19.30–21.00 at University of Bristol Lecture Theatre 2 (LT2) Arts Complex 3-5 Woodland Road BS8 1TE
For more info: http://actionawe.org/
https://bristolagainstarmstrade.wordpress.com/
Rebecca Johnson is an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, with more than 30 years experience of civil society engagement and nonviolent campaigning for peace and justice.
Rebecca lived at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp for five years (1982-1987) and co-founded the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp(aign). She is Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and has recently acted as a consultant for the United Nations, the European Parliament and the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the Interaction Council.

December
Saturday 6th Dec Monthly Witch Watch camp at Hinkley Point
Women’s monthly camp….Men welcome in daylight hours….more info 07511063152
Keep updated FB page :Witch Watch Full moon gathering at Hinkley Point
Thursday 4th, 11th & 18th December – Advent Vigils at Aldermaston, 12:00-13:00 at Tadley Gate, on the A340. Vigil for justice & peace; this is the time for ‘the elimination of all nuclear arsenals’ (Article V1, the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.)
Aldermaston AWE is where our nuclear weapons are researched and built, and where they are decommissioned and dismantled. Decommission yes, Replace no!
Bring Candles and pink Scarves; all faiths (and none) welcome; parking opposite.
 

Email to Euro Commissioners about Hinkley C Subsidy.

SWAN Admin:

Great letter to the European Commission from Theo Simon. What a shame that the commission approved it anyway & they also claim that the UK have modified their proposals so as tor educe the exposure of the taxpayer but I haven’t seen the specific details so how can we possibly tell?

Originally posted on Theo's Blog:

The following is text of an email I sent to EU commissioners who will decide tomorrow Wednesday 8th of October whether to support the uk governments subsidy of EDF’s Hinkley C nuclear power project.  Please feel free to cut and paste the text below and send it as an email (separately) to each of the following commissioners before 8 am tomorrow morning.  They can still be influenced we think!

commissioners email addresses: 

Andris.Piebalgs@ec.europa.eu

Cecilia.Malmstrom@ec.europa.eu

Kristalina.Georgieva@ec.europa.eu

Tonio.Borg@ec.europa.eu

Maire.GEOGHEGAN-QUINN@ec.europa.eu

Maria.Damanaki@ec.europa.eu

Androulla.Vassiliou@ec.europa.eu

Email Text: 

Dear Commissioner,

I read with dismay that the European Commission is on the verge of approving the deal between the UK Government and EDF Energy to subsidise the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. This could mean that UK electricity consumers are saddled with paying out up to £17.6 billion to EDF Energy and its Chinese partners over the 35 years from 2023, for a…

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Furious greens demand answer from Almunia over state aid examination of Hinkley C

Molly takes Almunia to task!

Molly takes Almunia to task!

Molly Scot-Cato handed a letter today to the European Commissioner Joaquim Almunia holding him to account & asking him some probing quesitnsa bout the apparent EU you-turn on state aid. Molly is furious that the DG competition commission are willing to break their own rules on state aid.

http://mollymep.org.uk/2014/09/23/green-fury-as-eu-indicates-hinkley-c-will-be-given-go-ahead/

Molly is calling on us to write to Almunia to tell him what we think of the commission backslide amd to ask him to think again…

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/almunia/contact/commissioner/form_en.htm

Meanwhile a range of people in Europe from Academics to renewables officials have threated legal action against the commission for hurrying their examination of the Hinkley deal.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/22/eu-britain-edf-nuclear-idUSL6N0RN4AY20140922

There is nothing democratic about Nuclear!

Trident Nuclear Weapons Base Blockaded in Post Referendum Protest

IMAG0362_1 IMAG0363_1 IMAG0370_1 IMAG0379

 

https://twitter.com/FaslanePeace

 

This morning, four days after the historic referendum Trident Ploughshares [1] and Faslane Peace Camp [2] have partially blocked the north gate to Faslane Naval Base, homeport of the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, sending a strong message that the overwhelming desire of Scotland to be rid of nuclear weapons must be honoured.

 

Five activists have locked on to each other while displaying banners that read Scrap Trident and Scotland YES Trident NO. Traffic waiting to enter the base is backing up causing gridlock at the roundabout close to the gate.The action followed a hundred strong protest at the base on Saturday after the referendum delivering the message: YES or NO Trident Has Got to Go.

 

Brian Quail, a member of SCANA and Trident Ploughshares and one of the blockaders said “We campaigned for a YES vote because an independent Scotland would have thrown out nuclear weapons. But the result of the referendum does not mean that we have to accept the continuing UK policy of relying on these weapons of indiscriminate slaughter.  On the contrary we know that the vast majority of Scots, including those who voted No, reject Westminster ‘s plans to replace Trident, as do a simple majority of people UK wide. And just as the independence referendum has opened up a national debate on constitutional issues it also calls into question the replacement of Trident, a decision that will take place in early 2016, following the next general election.”

 

Janet Fenton from Trident Ploughshares and Scottish WILPF said “We must now channel the energy of the YES campaign and the clear rejection by 1.6million people of Westminster politics as usual into policy changes. If the parties continue to disregard the will of the people for disarmament of these horrific, useless and expensive weapons there is bound to be a resurgence of vigorous opposition to them, including renewed nonviolent action like ours today. We are here today to send a strong message that we will not rest until we see the end of Trident and the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

The blockaders are Jane Tallents (07778276833), Brian Larkin, Mary Millington, Jean Oliver and Brian Quail.

 

 

ENDS

Contact: Leonna O’Neill   07596902461

Contact for Photos: Douglas David Shaw: 07713 918940


Notes to Editors

 

[1] Trident Ploughshares campaigns for the disarmament of the UKs nuclear weapons. For further information see:www.tridentploughshares.org.uk

 

[2] Faslane Peace Camp has maintained a continuous protest against Trident nuclear weapons outside the Faslane Naval Base since 1982. For further information see: www.faslanepeacecamp.worpress.org

Rethink Trident…

10413396_10152727159438033_8392936138581148184_n

With just two days to go until the Scottish Referendum  http://www.rethinktrident.org.uk/ Please sign & share this statement about Trident to assist in putting pressure on the government to fulfil it’s international obligations…