LONDON – Trade union workers are set to take on the leader of the UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn over the replacement of the country Trident nuclear deterrent program, “ABP has been told”.
Corbyn has long campaigned against nuclear weapons having been a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the national chair of the Stop the War Coalition from June 2011 until September 2015.
Corbyn wants to charge party policy so that trident is not replaced . He moved anti-nuclear lawmaker Emily Thornberry to the position of shadow defense secretary and appointed anti-nuclear ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone to conduct a review of Labour defense policy.
However, his anti-Trident stance is at odds with the Labour-supporting unions, who say any move to not replace Trident will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs, with the Labour Party claiming 19,000 jobs depending on Trident in Scotland alone.
Gary Smith, Scotland Acting Secretary for the GMB union – which is holding a conference on the issue in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the north of England Thursday – ABP news:
“It does put us at odds – not just with Jeremy Corbyn, but with the whole Scottish political establishment. The truth is, these people who have come out against Trident have no proper understanding about how the shipbuilding and submarine industry works.”
He said the 40,000 defense workers in Scotland are as vital to national security as the armed forces and that without the skills of the workforce in the yards on the Clyde and Rosyth the Royal Navy could not defend the nation.
“This is rather complicated for politicians. They don’t like complexities. Simple sloganeering and student politics is the order day for a number of politicians – not just Corbyn, but the whole Scottish political establishment,” Smith told ABP.
He said the result of the defense review – under Livingstone and Thornberry – is unlikely to change party policy. “I doubt that will get through the Labour Party conference and we’ve kept reminding the Labour Party we’ve got a policy already. That policy is pro-renewal of Trident.”
Getty images – ABP