Labour criticised for backing Trident

The SNP, Plaid and Greens hit out at Labour for continuing to support Trident

The Greens and SNP have criticised the Labour Party for its continued support for the Trident nuclear weapons system.

In a debate in Parliament yesterday, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said:

“Labour fully supports the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent, and we are committed to the renewal of the nuclear submarines”

This echoes Labour’s pledge during the 2017 election manifesto.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longstanding critic of Trident, was not present at the debate – which was called by the Scottish National Party.

The SNP’s Defence spokesperson said in a statement:

“Whether it’s a Tory or Labour government at Westminster, the UK refuses to accept that the majority of Scottish MPs do not want nuclear weapons.”

“The only way to guarantee an end to nuclear weapons in Scottish waters is for Scotland to be an independent nation.”

“Nuclear weapons are not only abhorrent on principle, but also an eye-watering waste of public money for something that we will not ever use, with the expectation of at least £200bn being spent over the lifetime of the Trident programme.”

“As a long-standing opponent of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Jeremy Corbyn has sold out his own principles by sitting on his hands and failing to walk through the voting lobby with the SNP to oppose this outdated and immoral vanity project.”

“Once again, Westminster has proven it does not work in the interests of Scotland. Despite a majority of Scottish MPs voting against the motion today, our nation is still forced to house these dangerous weapons.”

Twenty-eight SNP MPs voted against the motion to support Trident. So did four Plaid Cymru MPs and the Green Party’s sole MP.

They were out-voted by 192 Tories, 37 Labour MPs, eight DUP MPs and independents Lady Hermon, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and John Woocock.

Green MP Caroline Lucas told Left Foot Forward:

“It was deeply depressing to hear Labour’s shadow defence secretary, Nia Griffiths, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Britain’s so-called independent nuclear deterrent.”

“Because there is absolutely nothing to celebrate about the wasting, over five decades, of hundreds of billions of pounds on an unusable weapons system that is neither technically nor politically independent from the United States, and which deters absolutely no one.”

A 2016 poll showed that the public was split about 50/50 on whether to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system or not.

Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter for Left Foot Forward

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6 Responses to “Labour criticised for backing Trident”

  1. Eric Walker

    I will send a DVD called ‘The Megaton Bomb’ to Nia Griffith, This details the effect of such a bomb dropped on St Pauls, London. Its calculations are based on official government scientific evidence. A circle of London, reaching out to Battersea would be completely destroyed with lesser devastation going out further. This is the result of just one nuclear bomb/rocket of the 16 carried by one Trident Submarine. Will he ( or is it she?) take any notice? I am afraid not. Is it madness on their part or just part of the ‘political game’?

  2. Alasdair MacVarish

    UK leaders fear our loss of permanent member status at UN if we are not nuclear armed. Labour is also scared of real change as ever.

  3. Alison Bancroft

    That’s the trouble with a party with policy made by members – in this case at the 2016 conference.

  4. Patrick Newman

    Half a dozen Trident nuclear submarines sailing around the world capable of destroying many cities within minutes can hardly be called a “defence” policy!

  5. Dave Robertss

    It looks like we are back to the loony left ” Nuclear Free Zones” of the 80’s. Run up the white flag then and surrender to terrorism.

  6. Neville Ball

    This is a reply to Alison Bancroft
    When the Labour annual conference votes on the Trident issue the decision becomes labour Party policy. There is nothing Jeremy Corbyn can do about that. Even though Jeremy Corbyn personally opposes the Trident nuclear weapons system, he has to abide by annual conference decision. It is a quaint thing called democracy.

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