MPs elected in May 2015 will be the ones who make the decisions on Trident renewal – or not – in 2016.
In July of this year, Labour’s National Policy Forum made an important – if little noted – shift here.
As a result current policy states
‘The Labour Party will now review Trident in a post-election Strategic Defence and Security Review. This must take account of the huge cost of Trident replacement diverting resources from public services.’
The Labour Party has also recommitted to international efforts for multilateral disarmament. This commitment should add support to existing proposals, particularly growing calls for a nuclear weapons convention, or a ban on nuclear weapons.
Alex has welcomed this important policy shift.
‘I believe in a Nuclear Free World and believe we should put our weapons up for decommissioning at an international convention, encouraging others to do the same. I do not believe it is enough for the UK to disarm alone and we should use our position and Labour’s willingness to disarm to encourage others to do so.
The next Labour government will conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review, and this should consider the possibilities and implications of scrapping and not replacing Trident. I believe that to be the minimum position.
If elected as MP for Leeds NW, I would certainly be arguing for Trident decommissioning in that post-election review.
When the next Labour government attends the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York, it will be supporting a nuclear weapons convention or ban, similar to those for chemical or biological weapons. That is exactly my own position.
The Labour Party’s statements make it clear that- in the context of the sort of austerity cuts we have already seen – the huge cost of Trident will have to be weighed against the resources available for funding public services.
We need to support a new green deal which Trident’s non-replacement could fund, and which would provide jobs in the areas of Cumbria, Oxfordshire and Scotland where employment will be lost if Trident is not replaced.’
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