Micheal Fallon urges Labour MPs to back Trident renewal

Scott MacNab
The Scotsman
18 October 2015

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has appealed for Labour MPs to support the renewal of the UK’s Clyde-based Trident nuclear weapons system. Mr Fallon urged the party’s “moderates” to ignore the views of leader Jeremy Corbyn and put “national security” first.

The call came after Mr Corbyn underlined his unilateralist views by becoming vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The veteran left-winger has faced open criticism from some frontbench colleagues for undermining the party’s policy discussions by openly stating that he would “never” use nuclear weapons.

Mr Fallon said yesterday: “We have to take this decision now to renew our deterrent for the (20s) 30s, 40s and 50s and I would appeal to moderate Labour MPs to put national security ahead of party interest here and come and join us in renewing the deterrent in the way that all previous Labour governments have done.”

Mr Fallon rejected criticism that Trident is an outdated Cold War era weapon. “It isn’t a Cold War weapon, it’s a weapon we use every day, every night, 24 hours a day,” he said. “We are deterring people and there are 17,000 nuclear weapons out there. We can’t be sure in the 2030s, the 2040s, the 2050s, that some rogue state might use nuclear weapons against us.”

Shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott conceded that the “majority of the shadow cabinet” supported Trident renewal. “The leader of the Labour Party is opposed to renewing Trident,” she said. “As it happens I’m opposed to renewing Trident. But the majority of the Shadow Cabinet want to keep Trident. “However, the policy is out to review. And those of us that think it will be madness to spend billions of pounds on Cold War weapons we can never use hope that the review comes up with the right answer.”

Read full article at: The Scotsman