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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Barrow MP speaks on nuclear deterrent row

BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called for a 'like for like' replacement of Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Woodcock said: "The devastation of nuclear war would be an affront to nature itself.

"That is why I have said on many occasions that if we could genuinely be confident that the UK disarming would make this horror less likely, that should of course become ahead of the many thousands of jobs it would support in my constituency and across the country.

"That is why I have said on many occasions that if we could genuinely be confident that the UK disarming would make this horror less likely, that should of course become ahead of the many thousands of jobs it would support in my constituency and across the country.
And I am proud that the last Labour government shifted Britain’s nuclear policy – for the first time – towards the aim of a global zero.
But we should advance non-proliferation in a way that will maintain the security of the United Kingdom. And most of all – in a way that will make a nuclear catastrophe less likely, not more.

"To those who are looking to the latest review into the future of the deterrent and hoping that a major – and needed - push on global non-proliferation could make it possible for the UK to wait and see before committing to renew, I just put two questions:

1. Is it really realistic to think that there could be any breakthrough within the next few years in global security – not just Russia and America but the whole world – to give us sufficient hope that a hostile nuclear power could not plausibly threaten the UK 20, 30 or 40 years hence – because that is the judgement we have to make.

2. What would be the industrial and financial consequences of further delay on top of the already significant increase in cost caused by the coalition’s delay that enabled them to kick the main gate decision on successor into the next parliament?

a. Industrially, you must partly think in terms of jobs now and over coming decades. And let us not forget that we are not just talking about 5,000 or 6,000 jobs in Barrow shipyard, critically important to the regional economy though they are, but also the 4,000 jobs in the nuclear submarine production supply chain stretching right across the country.

b. But also, we must consider the UK’s prized capacity to manufacture submarines of any kind. We rightly say they are something that we must not procure from abroad, but if we leave another gap in production like that in the 1990s we could lose these highly honed skills forever.

Of course, we should always examine new evidence. But so far, all credible evidence has pointed to the same place:
That like-for-like renewal is the most effective – and cost effective – way of maintaining the UK’s minimum independent deterrent

And that the decision to renew should be kept at arm’s length from our profound moral obligation to pursue a world free from the threat of nuclear war.

Have your say

Where do all these people who want to waste money on new nuclear weapons think the money to pay for them is going to come from? We are skint as a nation and I don't see ordinary families wanting to spend their hard-earned pay in taxes for nuclear missiles.

Posted by David on 19 January 2013 at 10:20

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