NUCLEAR disarmament campaigners from across Scotland gathered at the North Gate of Faslane Naval Base yesterday to celebrate the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on Saturday.

Honduras became the 50th country to sign the TPNW at the United Nations in New York. The treaty declares that those countries that ratify it must “never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”.

Campaigners were at the main gate of the Trident nuclear weapons base at Faslane on Gare Loch with colourful flags and a large banner declaring “nuclear weapons – always immoral – now illegal!” and handed out copies of the treaty on the TPNW.

Long time nuclear disarmament campaigner Jane Tallents, anti-trident activist group Trident Ploughshares member and former Faslane peace camper, said: “We congratulate the 50 countries which have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons ban treaty.

“The world is banning nuclear weapons. We’ve always said that nuclear weapons are immoral. Now they are illegal. The UK Government should get its head out of the sand. Nuclear weapons are history. The UK should look to the future, join the rest of the world, sign the treaty and prepare to disarm these terrible weapons at last.”

Brian Larkin, coordinator of Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre, said: “It has always been clear that, due to the indiscriminate destruction of human life and the environment that would be caused by any use of nuclear weapons the deployment of Trident and of all nuclear weapons is illegal. Now we’ve had it confirmed.

“90 days from today under this United Nations treaty on the developing, testing, producing, transferring, stockpiling, and using (or threatening the use of) nuclear weapons will be prohibited under international law. The UK government and the governments of other states which possess nuclear weapons must take heed of this new treaty.”