Scottish Labour Party votes against Trident renewal

Scottish Labour members and unions vote against renewing Britian’s nuclear deterrent

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Trident nuclear submarine is seen at the Royal Navy's submarine base at Faslane, Scotland on August 31 2015

Scottish Labour Party members have voted against renewing the United Kingdom’s Trident nuclear missile system at the Scottish Labour conference held in the city of Perth.

Both party delegates and unions voted 70 percent for the motion not to renew Britian’s nuclear deterrent, based at Faslane on the Clyde in Scotland, where the Navy's fleet of Trident nuclear submarines are located.

The result in Perth is quite the opposite of the UK Labour policy, as the party supports the Trident renewal, describing it as a ”cornerstone” of peace and security.

However, that policy is now in doubt, since UK’s newly Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supports not renewing the system, while Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale instead supports the removal of nuclear weapons in a multilateral manner.

Trade unions hold 50 percent of the votes at conference, the rest comes from the Scottish party's 73 constituency parties.

Pat Rafferty, a Unite member - which is a union that represents Faslane workers - said Trident cannot protect UK from DAESH or cyberwarfare, but Britain should consider taking the lead in nuclear non-proliferation.

Rafferty said that the non-renewal process must go "hand in hand" with a jobs diversification plan, as the billions used for Trident could instead help workers and could be a back-up for a potential “crisis” in industry as well as the public sector.

The union's Gary Smith said during the conference that the "glaring omission" from the debate was what kind of job opportunities would there be for the workers of Trident.

Scottish Labour was defeated by Scottish National Party (SNP) in May's general election, losing 40 of its 41 seats to the SNP, which describes Trident as described Trident as "unusable and indefensible - and the plans to renew it are ludicrous on both defence and financial grounds."

TRTWorld and agencies