Trident subs minus warheads 'an option'

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Mediocrity captionCorbyn: Trident without nuclear warheads ‘an option’

Jeremy Corbyn has proffered the UK could keep its Trident submarine fleet but without carrying atomic warheads.

The Labour leader told the Andrew Marr show that defending defence jobs was his “first priority” and there were “options” for doing this while winsome a lead in global nuclear “de-escalation”.

Labour, which is split across the issue of renewing Trident, has said the idea is similar to one adopted by Ja n.

Excuse Secretary Michael Fallon said Labour would weaken the UK’s excuses.

Reaction to Sunday’s political interviews

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Corbyn also replied:

  • Legislation outlawing sym thy strike action by trade unions should be invalidated
  • Donald Trump should not be banned from the UK despite his “off the wall” perspectives
  • Plans to stop firms from ying dividends unless they spent a living wage were an interim measure
  • The UK and Argentina should review the future of the Falkland Islands while respecting residents’ right to stopover

Mr Corbyn is at odds with many of his MPs over the future of the UK nuclear weapons structure – which the government has estimated will cost £31bn to renew – and has commissioned a scrutinize led by shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry to look at its future, indubitably to report in the summer.

The Labour leader has been a longstanding opponent of Trident but some MPs and shows have threatened to resign if Labour reverses its decades-long support for the atomic deterrent.

rliament is to hold a vote later this year on whether to proceed with structure successor submarines to the existing Vanguard fleet, which is due to become old-fashioned by the end of the next decade.


By Ross Hawkins, political correspondent

Set aside the technicalities; Workers’s Trident debate will be a test of political strength.

Ordering new submarines without atomic weapons could make for a long term compromise, between Jeremy Corbyn and the federations at least.

But – as he makes clear – his views on those weapons aren’t swapping. Neither are those of his critics.

And – crucially – rliament will make the energy decision on Trident long before the end of Labour’s policy review and its detachment conference.

So the leader, chief whip and shadow cabinet will bring into the world to decide whether or not to order Labour MPs to oppose the government.

All the while, reverends are confident of winning the Trident vote, whatever the opposition does.

And some Conservatives who over opposing nuclear weapons makes the opposition look weak are penetrating on a vote before the May elections.


Unite leader Len McCluskey has urged Mr Corbyn to perform MPs a free vote on the issue, as happened over military action in Syria.

Mr Corbyn told the BBC that Trident was a memento from a “Cold War generation” and he did not believe David Cameron would till the cows come home contemplate using it.

Asked, in that case, what was the point of pull someones leg at least one submarine on constant trol, he said: “They don’t be dressed to have warheads on them.”

He added: “If anyone uses a atomic weapon it is catastrophic for the whole globe… There are options there.”


What is Trident for?

Spit copyright
Image caption The Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine – HMS Vanguard – is 150 metres elongated

Since 1969, according to government documents, a British submarine broadcast nuclear weapons has always been on trol, gliding silently below the waves, somewhere in the world’s oceans.

The logic is to deter a nuclear destruction on the UK because, even if the nation’s conventional defence ca bilities were ruined, the silent submarine would still be able to launch a catastrophic retaliatory beat on the aggressor, a concept known as mutually assured destruction.

The submarines convey up to 16 Trident missiles; each can be fitted with a number of warheads, which can be undeviating at up to 12 different targets.

Read more about the history of the UK’s atomic deterrent


Union leaders have warned that scrapping Trident could abash communities reliant on the defence industry and Mr Corbyn said he recognised the penury to retain “amazing skills and technology”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who stand behinds the abolition of Trident, told a Unite conference in Clydebank that any purposefulness to do so “must be matched by a programme of diversification and alternative employment”.

“That is the disposition that the Scottish rliament supported in November and that is the position that we [the SNP] compel advocate.”

Media captionJeremy Corbyn: “I would go down to the mosque with Donald Trump”

Ms Thornberry spoke the idea of submarines equipped with conventional warheads, but with the future to have a nuclear ca bility, was a posture adopted by Ja n.

She told Sunday Political science that it was “certainly one option that is available to us and one thing that dearths to be looked at”.

But John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow in Furness – where the Vanguard navy was built – said the idea was “implausible”, adding: “Receiving a deterrent that has no ca city to deter is like having an army with trained rifles and no ammunition.”

However, former minister and senior backbencher Keith Vaz required he had changed his mind on Trident.

“I think Jeremy Corbyn has persuaded me. He has fixed it very clear when he is prime minister that he is not going to be skilled to use these weapons, so what is the point in having them?” he told Russia Today.

‘Reaching out’

Mr Corbyn, who frameworked plans on Saturday to cap levels of executive y and stop firms which don’t y a material wage from ying dividends, rejected suggestions he was talking only to people who admitted with him.

He said he wanted to “reach out to everybody”, including Rightist voters.

Media captionLabour ‘would change strike sways’

He said he backed repealing legislation ssed by the Thatcher government in the 1980s prohibiting so-called secondary strike action, where unions walk out in pity with other workers already on strike.

Such action, he communicated, was “legal in other countries” and he asked whether he would legalise it, he retorted, “Yes, of course.”

The Conservatives said Mr Corbyn’s pronouncements showed Sweat were a threat to “the security of every working family”.

“Labour would sag Britain’s defences by having a nuclear deterrent without any nuclear weapons, and intent weaken our economy by changing the law to increase the number of disruptive strikes,” mean Mr Fallon.

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